Archive ‘Lodge Flaps’ Category

Classic Three Flap System

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Prior to Santee hosting the 1965 Dixie Fellowship the lodge came out with a new pocket flap for members to wear. The flap debuted in the summer of 1964 and was used until the summer of 1978. Again this flap was to be worn by all members. The new flap was later nicknamed the “Old Ordeal Without”. This name is in reference to later flaps which contain a fleur-de-lis.  Some old timers call this flap the “White Ordeal”.  It is also known by its Blue Book designation which is S2.  Designed by Saunders Bridges, the “Old Ordeal Without” really set the standard for all of the Santee flaps to come. The design featured a white background with a red outside and black inside border. It also featured a Carolina Parakeet that is not taken from Audubon’s painting. The right side of the flap contained symbolism associated with South Carolina including an outline of the state, a crescent moon, and a palmetto tree. The left side of the flap has symbolism associated with Native Americans including an arrowhead and a pot. Future flaps of the lodge would incorporate all or at least some of this symbolism in their design.

Another standard that this new Ordeal flap set was the new restriction that would be set on lodge flaps suggested by Bill Tyson. This restriction was that a brother could only purchase one flap per fellowship attended for 24 hours. In addition, flaps could only be sold at lodge fellowships. With only three fellowships this meant that a maximum of three flaps could be purchased a year. The part of the restriction requiring 24 hour attendance made sure that someone would have to come to an entire fellowship in order to buy one. This helped promote attendance and participation.

In 1969 the lodge ordered a new loom of its standard flap the “Old Ordeal Without” from the Lion Brothers Company. The order came back without a red outside border. Instead the flap had a double black border. Lodge rules required that lodge flaps have a red outside and black inside border. Therefore, instead of selling the patches the lodge Executive Committee sent them back to the company.  Apparently, instead of destroying the flaps, the National Supply Division either sold them to collectors or gave them out to people as samples of their work. It was a few years later that members of the lodge at a National Order of the Arrow Conference discovered the lost loom of flaps had been distributed. This flap is called the “Double Black” due to its unique border.

In 1975 the lodge instituted what is called a three flap system. Similar to the early twill flaps which designated Ordeal and Brotherhood membership, this system also had a flap for recipients of the Vigil honor. These new flaps were designed by Greg Vaught. The “Old Ordeal Without” was kept on as the flap designating Ordeal membership. A flap which had a black background and the three Ws spread out was used for the Brotherhood flap. This flap was called the “Spread” because of the unique placement of the Ws.  The new Vigil flap had a blue background. Its design featured three small red arrows in the shape of a triangle which is the symbol of the Vigil honor. A different parakeet was also included in the Vigil flap design. The Spread was in use from the Fall of 1975 to the Fall of 1978. The Vigil flap was sold between the Fall of 1975 and the Summer of 1980. The lodge also made a unique restriction on the Vigil Honor flaps. Instead of allowing Vigil Honor members to purchase one per fellowship, they were limited to one per year. When a person first obtained the honor and at the initiation of the system, a person was allowed a one time exemption to buy three. Brotherhood members could purchase either an Ordeal flap or a Brotherhood flap every fellowship.

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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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