All British Girlguiding Overseas members wear a galleon badge. It is the equivalent of a Country Badge such as that worn by members in Girlguiding Scotland.
British Girlguiding Overseas began as British Guides in Foreign Countries (BGIFC) in 1911 and as more and more units of BGIFC were formed, there was a growing desire for some form of corporate identity. One way to achieve this was for all British Guides abroad to wear the same badge, and so a competition was launched to find a suitable design. It is believed this took place in or about 1926, with the competition winner coming from the Ile de France District of Paris, France.
The badge chosen was a galleon sailing across the ocean and incorporating the colours of the British Flag - red, white and blue. The ship itself represents Girlguiding overseas, and the red cross on the white mainsail was a Crusader Cross, a reminder of the adventurous and crusading spirit of people from the UK who live and work in another country. In 2017 when BGIFC changed its name to British Girlguiding Overseas, a new version of the badge was designed. The galleon logo remains the same but a compass has been added – apt as BGO helps girls find their direction when they arrive in a new country.
Originally the metal galleon badges were hand-painted, with the name of the host country displayed on a scroll beneath the blue waves of the sea. Early examples of these, bearing the names of Switzerland and Belgium, have been kept in the HQ archives. As BGIFC spread even more widely however, individual hand painting was no longer possible and the galleon badges became mass produced. There is a cloth version for girls and an enamel badge for Leaders.
The Galleon badge can be obtained from BGO, for details see the Shop.