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.