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  • Lodge Flaps

    Ok I spun this thread b/c it was hijacking a thread.

    In regards to different colored borders on flaps, I admit the lodges I've been in save 1 had them, and I was pretty upset when national did away with them as I saw it as a tradition in the OA. Yes I agreed with the youth who said, "If you can't have different colored borders, then why do we have different sashes as they represent the same thing." Now I didn't go as far as to turn my sash inside out, or remove it completely in protest of the national policy at the lodge meeting as many were doing, but I could understand some of the feelings.

    But over time I changed my views on the topic. I met to many folks who were ticked off not because it was a tradition, but b/c they wanted that Brotherhood or Vigil patch. It seemed as if the only reason for becoming Brotherhood or Vigil was for a stupid patch. That's not what the OA is about. So I am slowly in the process of converting from the old honor specific flaps to the new non-specific ones. It's taking some time to convert all my uniforms b/c there are service hours restrictions on the flaps. More on that in a bit.

    Now in regards to giving the flaps out to new Arrowmen, I an 110% for it, and was one of the few adults who was working with the youth who wanted to change the lodge's position on the matter. As I stated in the original thread, it was a slow, tedious process, not only b/c of tradition, but b/c it was viewed as a means to make Brotherhood goals, and of course the patch collectors. But when national forced the issue on honor specific flaps, for better or worse, it caused a reaction that caused even some who were for new members getting flaps to change their position. In this respect it's back to square one. I do know of a few adults who will give away flaps to new members, and that's another reason for my slow conversion process.

    Now I do have mixed emotions on service hour restrictions. I do like it better than some lodges' restriction of one or two flaps per lifetime. And I like the policy a heck of a lot better than the one proposed by the patch collectors in my lodge to restrict it to one flap available for purchase to each person at each lodge event, i.e. about 5 per year. As mentioned in the other thread some folks cannot make lodge events for a variety of events: conflicts with their unit, conflict with another district or council event, etc. But most Arrowmen I know have no problem doing chapter workdays or service projects.

    But I can see the possibility of some folks coming to another OA work event just to get a flap. But in reality I haven't seen or heard of it. Usually those who come back and get a flap stay a spell and have fun.

  • #2
    Eagle92, thanks for the information...as for lodge flaps...I've moved three times in the last four years (deep south, east coast, now west coast). A quick summary of OA in my last three councils:

    1. Small but active lodge. Signed up and proud to be a member. Lodge had a rich history of service, and of well designed patches and policies. Moved shortly after joining. Darn shame.

    2. Small but inactive lodge. Paid my dues at the council office because I could never find anyone in the lodge to talk to or take my dues. The only time I heard from them was when it was time to renew my dues, shortly after I returned from a deployment and was prepping to move the family again. They had several flaps. No lodge events to speak of.

    3. Big lodge...fancy flaps...small chapter... Talked to a couple chapter leaders about dues and membership, they promise to get back with me, but no return calls. They meet during our monthly RT, which I will not miss to attend an OA meeting. At this point, they seem to be doing well without my dues or membership, so I'll keep the money and continue to wear my lodge flap from two moves previous. Probably violates a uniform standard somewhere, but hardly matters.

    Eagle92, sorry I rambled on there, but my point (which admittedly I could have made quicker and less painful!) was that I don't think lodge flaps are the driving force they used to be, either in retaining or attracting membership. Even the honor-specific flaps seem to have little impact (overall). I think the OA is in a serious decline and is a shell of its former self. It sounds like you are in a great lodge, and kudos to you all for keeping the spirit alive. My first lodge mentioned above is keeping the flame bright too. But overall, the wild array of lodge flaps that we see available around the OA isn't doing much for the movement overall. We've kicked the reasons why around in another thread. I'd just encourage you to keep doing what you are doing, it sounds right on target to me.

    PS. I think the new ordeal members should have a lodge flap!

    Comment


    • #3
      I come from a Lodge that had restricted flaps - 2 per lifetime and that's it. You got your first after you completed the Ordeal. You got the second after you completed your Brotherhood. You were solemnly warned not to put your flap on using velcro or snaps but to sew it on your uniform shirt so that it wouldn't get lost and wouldn't get stolen (and yes, unscrupulous patch collectors would try to rip them from your shirt).

      If you lost it? Sorry charley, you don't get a new one (though if it was stolen from you, it would be replaced).

      About 1982, National informed us that we could no longer restrict the flaps - about the same time, we were required to put the fleur-de-lis on the flap so we simply considered the pre-fleur-de-lis flap restricted and the new flaps unrestricted. I got one of the first flaps with the fleur-de-lis - it was handed out at one event - Spring Ordeal - before it was redesigned - the council did a rush job and hadn't thought about what the placement of a small fleur-de-lis under the backside of a flying goose might be interpreted as. Ooops. That year we had our first ever special event lodge flap - for the Winter Banquet. You could buy as many as you wanted but they were only on sale at the banquet - any left over were destroyed. They were considered official flaps of the Lodge so could be worn in place of the regular lodge flap for as long as you wanted. We've had other special flaps since then, but avoided the temptation to create special lodge flaps at the drop of the hat.

      We've never gone the route of having different color borders or backgrounds for level of membership. When you completed your Ordeal, you got your sash at the ceremony. You got your lodge flap and an OA Handbook (yes, the Lodge gave you an OA Handbook) the next morning after breakfast at a break-out meeting with your new Chapter Chief who gave you contact information, meeting information, information about the lodge flap, took you through a quick trip through the handbook, and encouraged you to get involved, go to the Fall Fellowship and come back in a year to become a Brotherhood member. In many of the Troops, it was a tradition to present the new Ordeal members the universal arrow at the next Court of Honor so we wouldn't dream of giving out the universal arrow.

      In our Lodge, there we no special privileges or patches for Brotherhood Members or Vigil Honor Members. If you even thought that being a Vigil Honor Member was anything more than a great and humbling honor bestowed upon you by your fellow arrowman, you wouldn't even be likely to be nominated. In our Lodge, it was considered proper to be first in line when asked to help if you were a Brotherhood member and to be the first to walk in and say "How can I help" without being asked if you were a Vigil Honor member. It's just the way things were taught.

      Comment


      • #4
        To my knowledge, we've never had ordeal, brotherhood and vigil flaps, but we did have "lifetime member" (aka "prepaid dues") flaps. Those were dropped after the rule changed. I don't think anyone was particularly upset.

        I can't imagine a lodge withholding flaps from ordeal members -- I'd tell 'em to kiss my foot. If that's the only way you can get folks to complete brotherhood, then that speaks volumes about your program.

        Comment


        • #5
          In regards to the different colored borders. the purpose for them I was told was to tell who is what when they are not wearing a sash. It wasn't about prestige, "I'm better than you," etc, but to recognize who was an OA member and whether they were Ordeal, Brotherhood, or Vigil when no sash was present.

          In regards to no flap when folks become members, lodge bylaws state that service hours are done by members. And people are still sore at the removal of the borders.

          Now one thing the lodge does have are "trader flaps" ones that have no service hour restrictions. They are not suppose to be worn, and to be honest I really do not see them on uniforms, although I may just buy a few next time.

          Also some special events have "participant flaps" and "supporter flaps" Support ones are more expensive, and help the scouts going to the event. I haven't seen folks wear any supporter ones, but I've seen participant ones worn, heck I have one on one uniform shirt.

          Calico's last para is spot on. Heck I know a few Vigils who as soon as they find out they will be at an event, email the youth in charge, sometimes the advisor if the youth's email is not available, and want to know where they can help out at.

          2Cub,

          Right now they do not get a flap in their new member packets, instead gettign the OA ribbon. Next OA Ordeal they attend they can now get a flap, or if they go to conclave, NOAC, or Jambo, they can get one of those flaps. Again I don't like it, and I have, when I could, given out a flap or two to new members who busted butt during the Ordeal. It's not much, but I try.

          Comment


          • #6
            In my lodge, we have never had any special borders or backgrounds for our lodge flaps. Everyone gets a flap after the ordeal, and you can buy as many as you want, whenever you want. I believe they cost $3.
            We do have special event patches. When we have a contigent going to NOAC, or Indian Summer, or even Jambo or Philmont, we make lodge flaps to sell as fundraisers. These are normally two piece, full pocket patches, rather than just a flap. I recently bought a set for our NOAC contingent. There were four pairs, each denoting a chapter and a ceremonial principal. I had to buy them all, just because my chapter and the priciple I portray went together. Couldn't help myself .
            I don't understand why you would withhold lodge flaps from members. I would just be confused over who was in the OA and who wasn't.

            I used to be a Platypus, and an awkward Platypus too.

            Comment


            • #7
              Madockawanda Lodge still has a "restricted" flap. They don't call it that, but that's what it is as you're limited to 3 for life--one at each "level" of the OA. I only have two 'cause I sealed my brotherhood in a different lodge, Nakona (Lubbock, TX). They do sell a different trading flap (all you wish to buy) nearly every year.

              Nakona had (17 yrs ago when I was down that way) the different border flaps for the different levels. So, I could buy blue (ordeal) and red (brotherhood), but not silver-gray, which was reserved for Vigil. However, they GAVE me one to add to my patch blankets display, knowing that's where it would go. I was told at the time I was the first non-Vigil to be given one. I felt honored at the time to be trusted with it.

              Comment


              • #8
                It sounds like there's no flap quite like a flap about OA flaps....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Looking in from the outside it all looks a little silly.

                  Now give me back my knots!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't understand the Restricted flaps. Both of my lodges have done the same thing. Flaps were available for sale 100% of the year through the Council service center shop. You have to have a current OA membership card. My old lodge had lots of special event/service flaps that satisfied the traders.

                    As for borders, my new lodge is a merger of lodges. So there has never been a flap with different color borders for this lodge. No big deal.

                    My original lodge still does the different color flaps. White for ordeal, Red for Brotherhood, and Gold for vigil. There are so many white borders on people, that the patch cannot possibly be much of a motivation to go for brotherhood. Looking around at a camporee, most of the flaps are white bordered. At an OA chapter meeting almost all are Brotherhood. At least in that lodge, it is a good indicator of at least moderately active vs just a flap-wearer.

                    I like the borders, but I won't cry when they disappear for good.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was told the purpose of the 7 hours of service in order to buy a flap had several reasons.

                      1) Encouraged and rewarded folks who attended OA work events

                      2) Discourage "flap wearers," i.e. those folks who "sash and dash."

                      3)Discourage trading of lodge flaps (but in reality this had the opposite effect sicne the flap's value has increased)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Eagle,

                        Being a Chapter Adviser, there is nothing I'd like better than have every boy who gets elected do their Ordeal and that every boy who does his Ordeal become active. That is my pipe dream. The reality is that they were elected by the peers to be honored for their example in their troop and that their first responsibility as an Arrowman is to their troop. This is an extreme example, but would we ever tell a Medal of Honor recepient that we honor his service and bravery under fire, but we won't give him his medal until he puts another year into the military? Being elected to the OA is an honor. Once he does his Ordeal, he is a member. He should be given the patch that identifies him as such with no other requirements.

                        I realize that you are not in favor or withholding the patch, just giving my thoughts and reasoning on why it is a bad policy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          SR,

                          I agree with you 110% And I think your dream is every CA's dream; I know it was mine back in the day.

                          I personally liked my old lodge's way of doign things. Yep they had a different border for Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil for the most part, special event patches being the exception, but there were no restrictions on them, and there wasn't a big deal about the different colored borders.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with SR.

                            I went through my Ordeal at 14. I then concentrated on keeping my troop/patrol together. I attended the occasional weekend OA event at the local camp, but that's all I did. Back then, I had no clue where the chapter met--it wasn't well advertised.

                            Never bothered to seal my membership until I was in graduate school in another state and only then as a deal with my younger brother who had become active in the home lodge and was pestering me to seal it. I made him a deal--he complete Eagle, I'd seal my membership. He did so with 4 hours to spare (8pm night before he turned 18), so at the next available op, I sealed mine.

                            Moved back to Maine and and helped-out at weekend lodge events on the kitchen crew, usually, as "galley slave" (dishwasher). Eventually received Vigil Honor, totally unexpected as I didn't view myself as a very active member--I was just the dishwasher at weekend events, but I guess the youth noticed/appreciated it. I've joked with some of the young'uns who are trying to "earn" Vigil that they could just join me on KP for a year or two. None of them have taken me up on the offer.

                            One of the reasons I wasn't expecting Vigil was that I wasn't a "good" lodge member. For several years after returning to Maine, I maintained membership with Nakona. Why? At the time, I was poor, trying to make ends meet. Nakona didn't charge membership dues unless you wanted the newsletter. You were welcome to wear their flap, "paying member" or not. Meanwhile, Madockawanda had a $10 reinstatement fee in addition to yearly dues. So, for several years, that Nakona flap stayed on my uniform as a protest until the youth changed the lodge rules and dropped the reinstatement fee. Considering the lodge numbers increased quite a bit afterwards, I think they made the right decision.

                            Never active at chapter meetings--hard to do so when you're on RT staff and the meeting takes place same night/location as RT, but at the same time, that's better for the chapter as the youth can catch a ride from the leaders going to RT. We've had a very active chapter over the past decade or so.

                            So, there's my ramble/personal background in regards to flaps.

                            By the way, my favorite one I've picked-up trading has to be from 488 Ta Tanka and uses glow-in-the-dark thread for the white buffalo:
                            http://www.oaimages.com/cgi-bin/buildpage.cgi?pp=488&dd=4&ii=8346

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Lodge I where I was inducted and sealed my membership only had one standard flap, no distinction between O,B,V. There was a "service" flap, which was given after X number of hours. Those were could not be purchased, only earned. They were way cool, and I the proud owner of about 6.

                              The second lodge I belonged to, had different borders for O,B,V, but the B and V were so close in color, you really couldn't tell a difference...but you really could tell who hadn't sealed their membership. That particular lodge's flap design hasn't really changed since the mid-60's, and when the order from National came, they just went with the Brotherhood color.

                              The lodge I currently serve did have border colors for O,B,V, but were long gone by the time I joined. One single flap for everyone.

                              It was a novelty when I was a youth, wanting the Vigil bordered flap...but once I was humbled by being called by the Vigil, it no longer mattered. I see the appeal, but the one flap is working well in my new lodge.

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