Head – Mental Development

  • Deeper knowledge and reasoning

Heart – Emotional Development.

  • Developing interest, appreciation, and wholesome attitudes.

Hands – Skills Development.

  • Ability to do, skill in doing, and habit of doing.

Health – Physical Development.

  • Understanding and appreciating a growing and changing body.




The 4-H emblem is one of the most recognized logos in America. It has proudly represented America’s largest youth organization for decades, and should always be presented and used in a respectful way. The emblem represents a standard of quality in youth development which is experiential in nature, meaning that young people learn all kinds of things through 4-H in a hands-on way.

We encourage 4-H members, club leaders, staff and faculty to familiarize themselves with how the 4-H emblem is suppose to be displayed by referencing the “Use of the 4-H Emblem Graphic Standards” and the IFAS 4-H Branding document.

The first emblem design was a three leaf clover, introduced by O.H. Benson, sometime between 1907-08.  From the beginning, the three “Hs” signified Head, Heart and Hands. A four leaf clover design with Hs appeared around 1908.

In 1911, Benson referred to the need for four Hs — suggesting that they stand for “Head, Heart, Hands, and Hustle … head trained to think, plan and reason; heart trained to be true, kind and sympathetic; hands trained to be useful, helpful and skillful; and the hustle to render ready service, to develop health and vitality… ” In 1911, 4-H club leaders approved the present 4-H design.

O.B. Martin is credited with suggesting that the Hs signify Head, Heart, Hands and Health — universally used since then. The 4-H emblem was patented in 1924, and Congress passed a law protecting the use of the 4-H name and emblem in 1939, slightly revised in 1948.




The white in the 4-H flag symbolizes purity. The green, nature’s most common color, is emblematic of life, springtime, and youth.

For more information about Emblem colors, color codes, and printing Download the “Use of the 4-H Emblem Graphic and the IFAS 4-H Branding document.