Archive ‘Lodge Flaps 1975 – 1980s’ Category

The Dixie Host and Dixie Delegate

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Santee Lodge was again hosting the Dixie Fellowship in 1983. James Potter, who was the lodge staff adviser, was given permission to design a special staff item for Santee members to have at the Dixie. He designed and ordered a flap for brothers to wear at the Dixie. The background of the design was blue and it contained the words, “DIXIE HOST”. The 300 flaps were sold at the pre Dixie weekend and at the Dixie Fellowship.

Another flap designed and ordered by James Potter was for delegates to the 1984 Dixie. Without consent of the lodge, Potter ordered a flap that used the color orange in place of the traditional red outside border. This color went with the spirit theme of the 1984 Dixie delegation from the lodge which was, “Orange you glad we came”. The flaps were sold three per delegate at the Dixie.  Although the origins of this patch are unofficial it has always been considered a lodge issue since Potter was the ex-staff advisor and the flaps were sold to lodge members.

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Second Generation Three Flap System

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Around 1978 the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America moved to make Scout patches more uniform and identifiable. They required that all Scout patches either say “BSA” or have the fleur-de-lis in their design. This was a watershed for patch designs. Most Scout councils and O.A. lodges around the country had to change the design of their emblems to comply with the new rule.  John Rhodes designed the next generation of flaps for the three flap system. He incorporated the fleur-de-lis in his design to meet the standards. The new Ordeal flap was identical in design to the old one with the addition of the fleur-de-lis. The new Brotherhood flap lost the spread Ws and some of the symbolism used in the old design was moved around. It retained its black background.  The two new flaps are now known as the “Ordeal With” and the “Brotherhood”. The “Ordeal With” was sold from the Summer of 1979 to the Summer of 1983. The “Brotherhood flap” was sold from the Summer of 1979 to the Autumn Fellowship of 1983. There is a variation of each flap which exists. The early looms of the “Ordeal With” have a cloth back while later runs have a plastic backing. There exists a cloth back “Brotherhood flap” and two variations on the plastic backing. One variation has a clear backing and one is black.

The lodge did not issue a new Vigil flap to meet the requirements laid down by national. The tough restriction on purchasing the flap and the limited number of Vigil Honor members meant that the lodge still had a bunch of flaps left from the first loom of them. Instead of making a new loom with a new design the lodge decided to wait to sell off the initial order of ones.

The Vigil Honor Committee voted to recommend that the lodge not order another loom of the Vigil flaps. Because of this, the lodge ran out of Vigil flaps in the summer of 1980. Some of the Vigil candidates in the summer of 1980 got a Vigil flap only because other brothers donated flaps so everyone could have at least one. In the summer of 1981 and 1982 there were no Vigil flaps available.

Prior to the Dixie Fellowship in 1979 the lodge had run out of flaps to issue and was informed by the Lion Brothers patch company that the new Ordeal flaps would not be ready until after the event. The lodge placed an order for one loom run of flaps with the Moritz Company because they promised to have it there for Spring Fellowship. Although an identical design was sent to the Moritz Company the loom of flaps that came back were very different from the style of work the lodge was getting from Lion Brothers. The flap was shorter and had a thick black border and crowded features. This set of flaps was dubbed the “Moritz” by lodge members. At the Summer Fellowship brothers were allowed to buy either a Moritz or one of the new Ordeals or Brotherhoods. The lodge eventually sold out of Moritz flaps by the Fall Fellowship of 1980.

In the fall of 1982 the lodge decided to move away from a three flap system and go back to having just one flap for everyone. Many reasons were cited for going away from the old system. One was that the lodge could not afford to buy three sets of patches that could only be sold very slowly due to the tight restriction. At the time the lodge had about $800 dollars in its account. Ordering new looms of the Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil flaps would have cost over $1100.

Another argument raised against the three flap system is that it promotes the idea of rank in the order and this is not the purpose of the three levels of membership. Ordeal membership is what you are in the beginning. Brotherhood membership simply is a sealing and greater understanding of the order. The Vigil Honor is bestowed upon a person and can not be earned.

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The Puke and the Current

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Charles Platt and others came up with a design for a new standard lodge flap. The design incorporated many of the traditional symbols but went back to using the Audubon parakeet from the original Arrowhead. The first attempt at getting a standard flap came back from the company minus several corrections that were supposed to have been made to the original artwork. For example, the original design had a black arrowhead but this was supposed to be changed to a traditional gray one. The fleur-de-lis was also originally drawn yellow but should have been changed to gold. In addition the colors on the bird included a lime yellow making the bird look sick. The brothers aptly named this flap the “Puke” flap after the ill parakeet on the flap. The lodge sold out the 300 flaps ordered beginning prior to the Dixie in April of 1983 until Autumn fellowship of 1983.

It was during this time that the lodge changed the company it was ordering its patches from. Four events happened back to back that caused the lodge to stop ordering its patches from Lion Brothers to a new company named Midwest Swiss. The first event was the Puke flap which was a mistake by the company. The next botched order was the Dixie Fellowship patches in 1983.  The parakeet came back looking “albino” because most of its body was white. In addition the patch was supposed to be shaped like the 1965 Dixie patch but it was more of a large acorn. The final mistake was the Dixie Set-up patch that the lodge put out. It was supposed to be the same size as the Dixie patch but was smaller.

By the spring of 1984 the lodge began to sell its new standard flap made by Midwest Swiss. It was the corrected version of the Puke. The flap, or the “Current” as it was called, brought a standard issue to the lodge. The Current survived for 12 years as the flap of the lodge. At least 4 different times new flap designs were proposed during business meetings but the old bird wouldn’t leave.  Today it is called the Burping Parakeet (or BP). This affectionate name comes from the fact that the bird has its head cocked back as if it is belching (although it is actually eating in the Audubon print).

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