Swastikas on Early Scout Badges

To the Editor [of the Austin American Statesman],

Gov. [Rick] Perry’s [of Texas] new book speaks of his admiration for the values of the Boy Scouts and his hatred of the ACLU for its attacks on the Scout’s stand against atheists and gays. Does the Governor also admire the founder of the Boy Scouts, Robert Baden-Powell, a general in the British army who spent his military career defending British colonialism in Africa and India, killing countless of the indigenous population in the process?

Later Baden-Powell became an outspoken admirer of Hitler and Mussolini and put swastikas on early Scout badges. His principal biographers considered him a closet homosexual “who “intensely identified with and enjoyed all-male culture and the activities that accompanied it”. On a visit to his old school, Baden-Powell is recorded as having greatly admired the headmaster’s collection of photographs of “naked boys”. Does the Governor admire these values too?

David Hamilton
Austin, Texas

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