Students in the United Kingdom traditionally wear academic scarves with distinctive combinations of striped colours identifying their individual university or college.
Members of the Scouting Movement wear scarfs as part of their uniform, with different colours, such as red and green, and logos to represent their scout group. They are also used at camps to represent units, subcamps or the camp as a whole. Fun scarves are also used as memorabilia at Scout events and country scarves are often traded at international gatherings. In some Socialist countries Young pioneers wore a red scarf.
Also known as Branch scarf, it is most commonly used by the US Army and other American military units, but is also used by other countries like Denmark. It is worn in the colours of the regiment in service uniforms, but was also used in combat uniforms, such as the American Cavalry.
Robert Duvall’s “Lt Col Kilgore” tropical combat coat and signature yellow branch scarf from “Apocalypse Now”
Since at least the early 1900s, when the phenomenon began in Britain, coloured scarves have been traditional supporter wear for fans of association football teams across the world, even those in warmer climates. These scarves come in a wide variety of sizes and are made in a club’s particular colours and may contain the club crest, pictures of renowned players, and various slogans relating to the history of the club and its rivalry with others. At some clubs supporters will sometimes perform a ‘scarf wall’ in which all supporters in a section of the stadium will stretch out their scarves above their heads with both hands, creating an impressive ‘wall’ of colour.
Portuguese football scarves held in a coordinated ‘Scarf Wall’ display, Euro 2004.
This is usually accompanied by the singing of a club anthem such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Liverpool F.C. or “Grazie Roma” at A.S. Roma. This was initially solely a British phenomenon, but has since spread to the rest of Europe, North and South America. Some clubs supporters will perform a scarf ‘twirl’ or ‘twirly’ in which a group of supporters hold the scarves above their heads with one hand, and twirl the scarf, creating a ‘blizzard’ of colour. This is usually accompanied by a club anthem such as “Hey Jude” at Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Scarf wearing is also a noted feature of support for Australian rules football clubs in the Australian Football League. The scarves are in the form of alternating bars of colour, usually with the team name or mascot written on each second bar.