The Hongkong Telegraph.
Friday, June 7, 1940.
Story of Scouts' Swastika Badge
Why H.K. Scoutmaster Can't Wear His Any More
Brother Frederick Grimshaw, S.C. Scoutmaster of the 16th H.K. (St. Louis) troop, can't wear his Boy Scouts' Thanks Badge any more. It happened like this....
Centuries before modern history began, the Sanskrit speaking people who flooded over Europe and Western Asia as ancestors of many modern races, brought with them a religious symbol so old that even today scientists do not know its origin.
It was roughly in the shape of a cross with turned ends. It may have been a symbol for fire or for the sun. No one knows. But it reached, with different associations, nearly every country of Europe.
It was found on medieval churches as one of the many Cross variants. It had religious meaning to the people of India and Finland (who still use it).
For Europe, this religious signification died in the Reformation. But the hooked cross lingered on as a good luck charm. Rudyard Kipling, who found it in India, used it on the front page of all his books. The Boy Scouts Association used it for the Thanks Badge presented to people who do a good service to a scout.
Then one day, a mystic, dream crazed Austrian house painter found the hooked cross on the wall of an old German church. It impressed him. He adopted it as the symbol of the new party he had formed in Germany.
From that moment the hooked cross had another, frightening meaning. Inside six years it stood for the Nazi air fleets that brought terror to the people of Spain, of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, for the men who dreamed of world conquest.
One of Kipling's Iast acts was to order the Swastika to be removed from all new editions. The Boy Scouts Association changed its thanks Badge to an arrow head design.
So Brother Grimshaw, like Canon Blakeny of Wombwell, Yorkshire - neither has yet obtained a new badge - can't wear his Thanks Badge any more. These days a Swastika badge is likely to be misunderstood.