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Neckerchief Over Collar? :: Eagle.Photography :: Dallas, Texas

Why Place the Neckerchief Over the Collar?

The BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia brochure says that the neckerchief can be worn over or under the collar. So, why at Eagle.Photography do we always make portraits with the neckerchief over the collar and the collar tucked under the shirt. There are two reasons:

  1. My personal aesthetics. The color of the Scout shirts are pretty similar to the skin color of most of the Scouts coming in for portraits. Consequently, the faces tend to blend into the shirts making every Scout look like a generic Scout. While a "generic Scout" is not bad, I make portraits to celebrate the achievement of individual Scouts who have earned the Eagle rank. I want each to look like an individual. Having the bright blue neckerchief frame the face highlights the face and draws attention to it. That blue around the neck helps to make each Scout more individual.
  2. I defer to Norman Rockwell. Rockwell painted covers for Boy's Life magazine for 58 years. He made dozens of covers ... and in each and every one he placed the Scout's neckerchief over the collar. So, my attitude quickly became, "If it was good enough for Norman Rockwell, it is good enough for me."

Boy's Life cover, July 1919   Boy's Life cover, February 1944   Boy's Life cover, February 1959   Boy's Life cover, February 1962

Does this mean that I think that neckerchiefs should always be worn above the collar? Nope. For most instances it really is personal or unit preference. I personally normally wear my neckercheif beneath my collar ... except in portraits.