On display

Scout Flag (1910)

This flag is most likely the first Scout flag made in Britain. It was used by the first Hampstead troop of Boy Scouts in the first half of the twentieth century. They were known as 'the Firsts' because they were one of the first, if not the first, Scout troops. The brightly coloured patches sewn on to the main body commemorate official scouting events dating from 1913 to 1937, including the World Jamboree in Budapest in 1933 and in the Netherlands in 1937.

The Scout flag was in poor condition and so was sent to specialist textile conservators in June 2014. The flag was lightly soiled all over with some areas of discolouration and so was surface cleaned on both sides. The badges were then removed so that a wet cleaning treatment could be carried out on the flag. The badges were then cleaned individually and sewn back on. The wool linings were removed because they showed signs of insect damage, and where replaced by a linen fabric, which was dyed and cut to match. Damaged areas of the red wool binding and loops were also patched with a new cotton fabric, dyed to match. The cost of this conservation was approximately £3,000.