Czech Young Pioneer Uniforms

Figure 1.--Smiling groups of uniformed Pioneers were a common site in Communist-era parades.

The Czech Pioneer uniform was similar to that worn in other Easter European countries. It was a simple uniform of light blue shirt, dark blue pants or skirt worn with a red scarve. It was primarily worn on ceremonial occassions. There was no major uniform dectibction for the older children as was common in Scouting.


The Czech youyh movement had different levels, but except for the red scarve mostly wore thecsame uniform.


Children before 8 years old were "Jiskricky" (Stars). They wore similar uniforms similar to the Pioneers. Usually the uniforms wrre the same, it saved money. The Jiskricky children, however, wore their uniforms without the red scarves.


Pioneers were usually from 8 to 17 years and unlike Scouting there was no major change of uniform for the older members. The Czech pioneers uniform consists of red scarf (triangular, weared under collar of shirt), lightblue shirt (with two pockets), darkblue trousers (boys) or skirt (girls), and white kneesocks for the girls. Any other extensions were unofficial. Pioneers in former Yugoslavia did wear blue caps as a symbol of sea which borders their country.

The Pioneers wore a belt with a destictive buckle which had the pioneer symbol and text "Vzdy pripraven". Both boys and girls wore the buckles, but they were probably more common for the boys who wore belts with their [ants more than the girls did with their skirts.

Figure 2.--Bote the red scarf, badges and belt buckle , worn by this Pioneer.


The Pioneers commonly wore their uniforms for important ceremonies. One Czech observer notes, "First time when I wore my full pioneer uniform was at a ceremony for new members, where every new pioneer gets his own scarf and gives his vow (similar to scouts, but instead of God they pledge to communist party)." Uniforms were regulary worn several times per year: 1) first schoolday after summer holidays, 2) at the anniversary of socialist revolution in October 1917, 3) international day of mothers (March 8), 4) Mayday parade (May 1) and 5) several others.

Uniforms were also worn at various irregular occasions. A Czech observer reports, "We were usually happy to wear this uniform since it means that there was no school this day and maybe something for us free of charge (for example refection etc.)".

Activities where children wore thir pioneer uniforms were mostly during school or feastdays. The number of children wearing their uniforms depended on the location. In bigger cities (in czech it means towns with more than 20 000 inhabitants) more frequently than in villages (from where I am). I think several (perhaps ten times per year). Pioneers in uniforms were performed at many places. To stay as honor guards, to go in parade (similar to marching bands), to welcome visiting politics, to sing or recite at celebrations and so on.


Czech pioneers report that the Pioneer uniform was especially popular with the girls. Some girls would reportedly wear their uniform even on days when it was not required. Schools often had strict rules about what could be worn. Short skirts were considered very stylish in the 1970s, yet many Czech schools did not permit short skirts for the girls or blue jeans fior the boys. Some girls figured out that if they wore a short skirt with their Pioneer uniform that they would usually not be reprimanded. Teachers were afraid to criticize as it could be construed as a criticism of the Pioneer movement itself. Our Czech source reports that there was "... a big fear to critize anything related to communist party, one bad word and you had big troubles with secret police).

Figure 3.--Boys and girls in Pioneers wore the same uniform, except the girls wore shirts instead of pants.

Summer Camps

There was no special summer uniform for use at summer camps. The Pioneers aproximately from 1981 introduced a "work uniform", nonformal, without exact ordinance. It consisted of a red scarf with green (khaki) shirt. Other uniform garments were not perscribed.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: April 15, 2000
Last updated: April 17, 2000