Milwaukee Boy Scout Troop 11 Removes “Fleeing Immigrant” Patch After Positive Meeting

Apr 6, 2012
1:59 PM

On March 27, our site posted an exclusive image we had received from the Twitter profile of @panchoplata1 about a Boy Scout patch that depicted the "fleeing immigrants" image under the title Border Patrol. With very little information about the patch (but with confirmation that the patch was indeed on the uniforms of a Troop 11 in the United States), we reached out the the Boy Scouts for comment and to see if they knew the origin of the patch. They did not know the origin, but thanked us for sharing it with them. The Boy Scouts felt the patch did not reflect the true values of the Scouts and they let us know in a statement.


In the meantime, more details came to light about the origins of the patch and we got confirmation that it was a local patrol of the Troop 11 in Milwaukee. We got emails from troop leaders as well as some unflattering emails and tweets from troop members. After much back and forth, the troop leaders had apologized for some of the inappropriate comments that troop members were sending us, and decided to change the patch. They invited us to a meeting this past Monday, and we asked @panchoplata1 to attend. He brought a few people, and from what he reports below, the meeting went extremely well, and good things came out of this.

The story started when @panchoplata1 stopped by a friend's house and saw the patch on his friend's desk. The parent, whose son had just joined the troop, told @panchoplata1 that his son had gotten the patch for joining the troop. The parent asked troop leaders about the patch and got no answers, so that is when @panchoplata1 approached Latino Rebels. We then went and started contacting the Boy Scouts and the US Border Patrol. The US Border Patrol had no idea what this patch was about, but the Boy Scouts issued a statement and then we began to get more information about the patch.

Fast forward to this past Monday, where @panchoplata1 and others, including Christine Nuemann Ortiz from Voces De La Frontera, met with the Troop 11 community in Milwaukee. Ms.Ortiz explained the image, its history, where it was used and why. She also explained how many different groups in the United States misinterpret this image for hate towards immigrants and Latinos. People were generally unaware of the entire history of this image. According to @panchoplata1, the troop leadership was thankful for the lesson and for the information this website gave to them. (For the record, after all this controversy was brewing, we also emailed the Boy Scouts to say that the troop should not be disbanded for this, and they listened.)

After the meeting, the young man who was tweeting to us and accusing us of being pedophiles went up to @panchoplata1 and apologized for his actions. So did others parents and scout masters. As of now all the patches are off the troop uniforms and a new patch will be made.

This is what happened AFTER the fact and it is not the information that is being reported right now by The Blaze, The Daily Mail, and The HuffPost, although we appreciate the fact that other outlets picked up our story and gave us the proper attribution.

And to all those in Troop 11, there is really no need to apologize for all this, your character in response to this, even though at first was frustrating, had been amazing ever since we started a real dialogue about this. In the end, we are proud of what you do for the Milwaukee community and how this incident made you better Boy Scouts. The fact that we all took the time to meet and have a real conversation about this means a lot.

Now if the rest of the country can learn from all this, we would all be the better for it.




The Rebeldes