1924: 4-H Club name and clover emblem are officially adopted

The official 4-H emblem is a four-leaf clover with an "H" in each leaf and the stem turned to the right.

The first emblem design was a three-leaf clover, introduced by O.H. Benson, a 4-H Club leader in Ohio, sometime between 1907 and 1908. From the beginning, the three "Hs" signified head, heart and hands.

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..." That same year, 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, which was slightly revised in 1948.

The 4-H name name and emblem remain highly valued within our country’s history. As such, they were granted a unique status, similar to the Presidential Seal and the Olympic Emblem. The emblem became a federally protected mark, which supersedes the limited authorities of both a trademark and a copyright. The “18 USC 707” is the statement in the United States Code that outlines its protection.

As a result, responsibility and stewardship for the 4-H name and emblem was not given to the U.S. Patent Office but a higher level of the federal government - the Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary has responsibility for the 4-H name and emblem, at the direct request of Congress.