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Choosing a Lodge Flap to wear

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  • Choosing a Lodge Flap to wear

    What is the etiquite (not rules) for wearing different flaps? Like should you attend your lodge conclave to just wear that flap?

    Since my son did not receive a lodge flap from his ordeal, I have bought many differenet flaps and he wants to a choose an older flap.

    I remember at one lodge meeting a scout got picked on because the flaps on his uniform were for NAOC persons only, not just an average OA member.

  • #2
    The general practice is you wear your lodge's current flap. The flap is the day to day sign that you are a member of your lodge. Once you are in the lodge, start wearing it.

    NOAC flaps are really intended for those lodge members who attended NOAC (same for Jamboree). So if you didn't attend, kind of poor idea to wear them.

    Wearing old flaps is usually only seen by those who were members when that flap was put out. To wear a flap that came out before one was a member would also be seen as strange. Same with anniversary flaps. If you weren't a member during that anniversary, why are you wearing it?

    Some lodges change their flap every 2-3 years or so. As only the current members can usually get the flap (as they are only sold at lodge events), this is a good way to catch people who have forgotten to pay their dues and encourage them to do so.

    Me, I wear my lodge's current flap. When a new one comes out, I change it out. I've long ago stopped bothering to wear jambo or noac flaps.


    • #3
      Although it doesn't get followed, our lodge likes to see everyone wear the current Lodge flap. I do have my Jambo shirt from 2010 that has my "Jambo flap", and another shirt from a few years ago that has an anniversary flap on it. My lodge puts out so many flaps (Anniversary, Conclave, Jambo, World Jambo, NOAC, Indian Summer, Summit Corps, ect.), that many in our Section, and even the SE Region, say we are the flap of the month club.

      I've been to tons of Conclaves and NOACs, but I never put those flaps on my shirt, I really do like the plain old flap.


      • #4
        My experience is quite a bit different from those above, especially where the adult scouters are concerned.

        For the most part, youth members tend to wear the flap that was the current flap when they did their ordeal. But you will also see a variety of flaps, usually purchased from ebay, that are considered "cool" flaps. I've seen no consideration of having attended the event, nor of even being a scout at the time. Only the looks of the flap matter.

        Interestingly enough, this also seems to apply to council CSPs. On rare occasion, I've also seen scouts wearing a CSP from a neighboring council. I must admit, I don't care for this practice; but I would never say anything to a scout about it, either.

        This phenomenon is even more apparent with the adults. There is quite the variety of lodge flaps amongst the adults. Much more so than the youth. The flap issued to those staffing the 2010 jamboree is a particularly nice patch. But if believed, then my district had more than a disproportionate share of staffers.

        Issuing and selling lodge flaps is quite the fundraiser. Anyone can buy a flap for any event. Some more pricey than others. I'm not a collector, yet I own quite the assortment of flaps. The one I wear was the current flap when I became a scouter and transferred my membership. I assure you, my dues are paid. I just see no reason to change flaps.

        I was particularly impressed with the flap issued to commemorate the BSA 2010 anniversary. Hard to describe, but it is some sort of 3D relief effect. It really stands out. I bought one for each of my sons, even though none are yet eligible for membership. I plan to present it to them when they complete their own ordeal.

        A bit of a long and rambling post .... sorry about that. I say let your son choose one of your flaps. I've no doubt it will be a source of pride for the both of you!

        And if anyone questions it, ask to see their official uniform police patch.


        • #5
          I wear a couple of flaps, and we have a couple of new ones out that I will be getting at our Scouter's Annual Conference in March. Can't wait. But I mostly wear our current flap..


          • #6
            Traditions vary, but I'm with those who say wear the lodge flap that was issued when you joined. Collecting the older flaps is fun, but wearing a flap from a era previous to your own is not usually practiced.

            I like to see the old timers wearing their old lodge flaps...great conversation starters and truly living history.


            • #7
              My first question is why wasn't your son given the latest lodge flap when he completed his Ordeal? Are you in one of those nitwit Lodges that don't give flaps to people until they become Brotherhood? The leadership of those Lodges, youth, adults, and professional, should be pelted with peanuts at every event until they understand how stupid such a policy is.

              On to the question. In my opinion, you should wear the Lodge Flap you were given upon completion of Ordeal. If it changes in 5 years and you want to buy the latest and wear it, I'd consider that a personal preference, but I would wear the one I first got.

              I wouldn't wear any special flaps for NOAC, Winter Banquets, Jamborees, etc. but if it was a "requirement" of the Lodge or Jamboree Troop, I'd wear it for the length of the event - once NOAC or Jamboree was over, back to the regular flap. Personally, I consider them trading patches, not my Lodge flap. If it's an option, I'd wear my regular Lodge flap, unless and especially for things like NOAC and Jamborees - if the Lodge Flap you have is a rare item for trading - I know of some Lodges that have (even though I believe it's technically no longer allowed) "restricted" patches (my Lodge has a 2 for life policy - one at Ordeal one at Brotherhood - not available for sale - the real restriction was you couldn't trade or sell it, if you did that, you were banned from the Lodge for life) and some Lodges that have a new flap every year for that year's new Ordeal and Brotherhood members not available for sale to anyone else - then I would probably wear a NOAC or Jamboree flap to make sure my flap wasn't ripped off my shirt (unfortunately, I've seen a Trader do this at the Grant Pilgrimage - tear a Lodge flap off a boys pocket because it wasn't available for trade and he "had to have it" to help fill out his collecton - fortunately, that boy was in a Troop with an ASM who was an FBI agent, and was able to point the guy out to his ASM later that day - lesson learned for all of us from that Lodge - don't wear your flap in Galena).

              Now again, personal preference, I wouldn't wear an older flap if it was different from my Lodge's current flap or the flap I first got (though in my Lodge's case, the official Lodge Flap design hasn't changed except for the addition of a fleur-de-lis when that became required - if you know the history, you can tell the folks that got flaps before 1982, spring 1982 and fall 1982 and later. Pre-1982 - no fleur-de-lis. Spring 1982 - fleur-de-lis in an unfortunate position - right under the hind end of a flying goose. Fall 1982 and after, a much better position for the fleur-de-lis). But that's a personal preference - if someone is in the same Lodge that their father or grandfather was in, and the family member gave their flap for their kin to wear, I wouldn't hesitate to think that was cool.

              So to summarize - my etiquette would be:

              1A) Wear the flap you received as an Ordeal member (or as a Brotherhood or Vigil member if given a flap after those ceremonies)


              1B) Wear the current Lodge flap

              2) Don't wear special event flaps, unless it's a short term thing

              3) Don't wear flaps that pre-date you, unless they have special meaning

              and of course

              4) Don't wear the flap of a Lodge you don't belong to.


              • #8
                I agree with the above.

                However, I do know some folks have been gifted with older flaps with the express intention of them wearing them. This was very common in my lodge as we not only have restricted patches, but they had the honor borders, and they did not have Ordeal flaps at all after one point. So some folks got the older Ordeal flaps from family and friends.

                Also my lodge still keeps the restriction, must do 7 hours of work AS A MEMBER, so candidates still do not get one (don't ask I do not like that, but at least they don't have to wait 10+ months anymore to get a flap). So I've seen some folks gift lodge flaps to new members, heck I've been known to do that. Hence the gifted patch.

                Also prior to the restriction on honor borders, I know some new Vigils would receive an older Vigil flap from their sponsor. or sometimes Vigil friends.


                • #9
                  We have a council chaplain (in his 70s, I believe) who wears a flap of a lodge which was part of a six-council merger in the 70s.

                  I agree that the current flap should be worn, or the one received during ordeal. Our lodge doesn't change flaps often. Two of my shirts have the standard flap; one has a ceremonies flap since I received a free one last summer for doing ceremonies.


                  • #10
                    And to add one to what Calico said:

                    -If you are no longer a member in good standing (i.e., dues paid current), then the flap should come off. You are no longer a member of your lodge.


                    • #11
                      As Lodge Adviser, I have a bigger problem to deal with concerning flaps: adults that wear the flap from their youth and the rest of the uniform consists of patches from the current Council. National policy states that they can only be registered in the lodge where they are registered. One such fellow was chosen as one of our Jamboree Troop leaders. Being the Lodge Adviser and Council VP of Program I told him that he must remove his old flap and wear a current flap from the local Lodge (which he does pay dues).

                      I have no concern if someone wears a flap from 1959 or 2009. They are all recognized, licensed symbols of the Lodge.


                      • #12
                        A lotta shoulda, woulda, tradition, etc. here but the truth is there is NO rule as long as a person is a paid up member they can wear any flap from their lodge that was issued for any occassion. During these days where lodges are being merged or dying out completely due to a large decrease in membership and interest lodge members have better things to worry about than what flap is the proper one to wear.


                        • #13
                          As I'm reading this, I'm thinking that it seems that most people feel that it's fine to wear old uniform pieces but several people have preference for current lodge flaps.

                          I joined the local lodge and received the current flap that fits on my centennial uniform. If I want them for my oscars I have to hit up eBay and try to buy a recent flap that fits the shirt.

                          Personally I think it's odd to wear the NOAC or jamboree flaps when you didn't attend. But the general lodge ones, I wouldn't get to excited about what year they date to.


                          • #14
                            I have to agree with Cito...

                            NOAC, Conclave, NJ, WJ...I did not attend and not really interested in wearing.

                            General issue...even older...I do like some and prefer some over the newer more ....elaborate issues.

                            To me...I refer the simpler older flaps...even if I was not a member when they were issued.

                            Doesn't BSA say once good, always applicable?


                            • #15
                              Honestly, our current flap is a muddy mess of a design. Definetely done automated in a computer with little thought of how it would look in real life. But with the pocket flap size change options are limited.

                              I will also say that while the new ones all have the common border color, when I get one from a few years back I respect the old border color scheme and get the Brotherhood issue.