Oregon State University Extension Service


Symbols and emblem

4-H has grown over the years and the symbols reflect the rich traditions and the progressive spirit of 4-H.

4-H symbols

The four H’s

The four H’s represent the comprehensive areas of development youth experience in the 4-H program:

  • Head is for thinking, planning and learning to reason.
  • Heart is for the concern about the welfare of others, acceptance of responsibilities and development of positive attitudes.
  • Hands is for the development and mastery of skills.
  • Health is for the enjoyment of life and promotion of healthful living.

4-H emblem

The 4-H emblem is a green four-leaf clover with a white “H” letter on each leaf. The emblem was adopted nationally in 1911 and since then Congress has passed legislation twice to protect the 4-H name and emblem. The design is attributed to O.H. Benson, an Iowa School Superintendent.

4-H colors

The 4-H colors are green and white. Green represents springtime, life and youth while white represents high ideals and standards.

4-H motto

"To Make the Best Better." Carrie Harrison, a botanist with the U.S. Bureau of Plant Industry proposed this motto and it was later adopted in 1927 along with the 4-H pledge

4-H pledge

The pledge was adopted in 1927 during the first National 4-H Club Camp in Washington, D.C. Otis Hall, a State 4-H leader in Kansas, was responsible for the original wording. The pledge remained unchanged until 1973 when the words "and my world" were added.


Source URL: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/4h/symbols-emblem