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Fat Old Guy

OA paraphernalia, what should be worn?

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We have a disagreement in the troop about what is to be worn and when.

 

There are two things that can be worn on a regular basis, the pocket dangle and the pocket flap. The question is, should they be worn together?

 

One argument is that since they both represent membership in OA, they shouldn't be worn together. The other argument, of course, is that they are worn together.

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They can be worn together. I have seen the flap worn without the dangle more often than not but rarely seen the dangle worn alone. I wear my 'pocket rocket' all the time since I became Vigil in '99. It's the only way to show you are a Vigil (because you only wear your sash at OA functions or representing the OA) or have received the Founders Award.

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As far as I know, both can, and should, be worn simultaneously. Some would say that you should wear a pocket flap only if you are active in that particular lodge (paid up).

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eisely, I wear only the dangle because I don't want to join our local lodge at this time.

 

But here is one for NWScouter. When I pulled my youth uniform outa mothballs, on my flap was a small (about the same size as the dangle arrow) sterling silver arrow pinned on the totem. Why was it there? I think it was to show that I am a Brotherhood member. Couldn't you wear the little triangle pin on your flap?

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The little silver arrow is for wear on street clothes. I dont think you are to wear the triangle anywhere but on the ribbon. Years ago before I even was a scout the OA had small silver animal totems to wear on the ribbon. Each lodge picked one as its own. This may have been before flaps. The lodge when I was a youth gave out the dangle at ordeal, and you did not get the flap until you went through brotherhood. Some lodges have an ordeal, brotherhood and vigil flaps. Both of these I believe are against OA standards.

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That silver totem is a neat idea. Mine would have been the otter.

 

Holy cow, I was out of uniform back then, don't let FOG know. (This message has been edited by Eagle1973)

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I am not going to follow my normal procedure with OA questions and quote pages and pages of official materials. Instead I am going to tell you what I know to be the truth to the best of my ability.

 

The Universal Arrow Ribon is a symbol that a person is an Arrowman. It does not indicate that a person is a member of any particular lodge. Rather, it, like the sash, is a common sign of membership within the greater Order. All members may wear the Univeral Arrow Ribon. Also, if memory serves, all new members are to be issued one on completing the Ordeal. (Note, I consider it redundant to wear both the sash and ribon, but to my knowledge there is no rule to prevent it.)

 

The silver arrow pin is for civilian wear. Any member of the Order may wear the pin on civilian attire at such times as may seem appropriate. It is never to be worn on the BSA field uniform. (I would also assume it is not to be worn on the dress uniform, though I wouldn't swear to it one way or the other.)

 

The lodge flap "belongs" to the lodge that created it. Only active members of that lodge are entitled to wear the flap. The individual lodges have the power to define what determines active for the purposes of wearing their flap. Lodges may create flaps with various membership levels, or for other purposes. However, the OA does not recommend creating restricted flaps, as these seem to go against the concept of brotherhood. Ultimately, it is the lodge that determines all policy concerning the lodge flap. If a lodge wishes to only issue flaps to new members when they come back for their second event, or some other such limitations, that is their decision to make.

 

Policy dictates (if memory serves) that all new Arrowmen must be given the Univeral Arrow Ribon, the Ordeal Sash, the OA Handbook, and a membership card upon completion of the Ordeal. (The cost of these items is built into the Ordeal fee.) Issuing the lodge flap, or any other lodge insignia or recognition, is the lodge's option.

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Re: (because you only wear your sash at OA functions or representing the OA)

 

The first boy from our young troop just finnished his ordeal and showed up for our COH with his Flap / Ribbon and Sash on. One of our leaders told the boy he should take it off accept for OA Functions. When asked the policy, I referes to the latest BSA insignia guide which only decribes how the sash should be worn and that it not be worn with the merit badge sash.

 

If the sash should not be worn to COHs, where is this stated?

 

Also the Insignia guide does forbid the wearing of two badges with the same meaning. If the sash is worn then the ribbon should not?

 

CE

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In my 1965 OA Handbook, it says, "The Arrow sash is worn only at [OA] functions. It is not to be worn at troop meetings or other Scout functions unless specifically requested by the lodge chief . . ."

 

The wording is different in the current handbook that I was shown, the word "only" is omitted and the sentence about "not to be worn" is gone as well.

 

Unfortunately, things are pretty quiet about the dangle and the flap.

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The universal arrow ribbon and the lodge flap serve different, but similar purposes. One shows you are an Arrowman, the other shows what Lodge you are a member of. It is sort of like the relationship between the "Boy Scouts of America" strip and the Council strip.

 

On the other hand, the ribbon is very much redundant if the sash is being worn. However, to my knowledge there is nothing that prohibits the ribbon and sash and flap from all being worn at the same time.

 

The sash is to be worn OA functions (generally any time the field uniform is worn during an OA function). It can also be worn with work clothing by Elangomats during Ordeals. The sash may also be worn when representing the Order in some official capacity. Finally, there are a few select special occasions where wearing the sash is appropriate. You really need to read a current edition of the OA Handbook to find out the rules for wearing a sash. (Current version is 2002, however, if history is any guide, a 2004 version will be out by the end of summer.)

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Here goes an answer straight from the book to be refuted by any number of people and sources.

 

Order of the Arrow Handbook, 1992 Revision, Page 59, Uniform and Insignia.

 

Only currently registered members of the Boy Scouts of America and the Order may wear the insignia of the Order of the Arrow.

 

The Order of the Arrow sash is worn with the official "Class A" uniform.(...) The sash may also be worn by Elangomats who are not in "Class A" uniform at an Ordeal, youth wearing ceremonial attire, and in such instances as approved by the Scout executive. (...)

 

Page 60.

The sash is worn at Order of the Arrow functions and special activities, including courts of honor and on occasions when members need to be identified as Arrowmen rendering special services.(...)

 

Page 61.

The Universal ribbon is to be worn with the official Scout uniform.

 

*The 1998 version changes the "Class A" uniform requirement to the official Scout uniform.

 

*also the Elangomats "who are not in uniform", a slight change in 1998.

 

So, it looks like a dangle, a flap and a sash with the official uniform and current membership be

 

FB

 

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" (Current version is 2002, however, if history is any guide, a 2004 version will be out by the end of summer.) "

 

The version given to our new Arrowmen is copyrighted 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I do not have a current Insignia Control Guide either but I am sure that there is something about either excessive insignia or duplicate badges. The BSA has got us by the pocketbook again.

 

Now where is that BW when you really need him?

 

FB

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There is, I believe, one circumstance where wearing the OA sash to the Court of Honor is appropriate. If the boy has been designated Troop OA Representative as his Position of Responsibility, then he can be considered to be doing an OA job as he serves as a leader in the Troop.

 

Clearly, the boy is extremely proud of being an OA member. I would have probably let his wearing the sash go at the Court of Honor and gently told him about it the next week. I would respectfully suggest that the last thing that an enthusiastic 11 year old needs is a visitation by the uniform police.

 

I can't count the number of Eagle Courts of Honor where the candidate (and often everybody else) wears their OA sash, often together with their merit badge sash.

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Generally those attending a COH should not wear a sash. This is because a COH is not an OA event, nor are they representing the Order. Now the OA Troop Representative would have an argument for wearing the sash, though I would advise against it unless he is performing some special function. Also, if someone is speaking about the candidate's OA experience, or speaking on behalf of the chapter, lodge, or in some other capacity representing the OA, it would be appropriate to wear the sash.

 

Generally, it is my experience that it is the least experienced (which often translates to least committed, though not always) Arrowmen who will be found wearing a their OA sash during a Court of Honor. Let me give some examples to illustrate my point:

 

The last Eagle Court of Honor I attended was held for the current chief of section SR-6N. The event was also attended by the immediate prior section chief. Further, there were several Vigil Honor members, former Lodge Chiefs, and several current lodge and chapter officers and advisers in attendance. Yet, the only person wearing an OA sash was the current Lodge Adviser. The reason he was wearing his sash - he was going to be speaking about the candidate's OA experiences.

 

During my own Eagle Court of Honor, I was serving as Lodge Chief. However, not a single person (that includes me) was wearing a OA sash.

 

I sincerely hope the reason so many feel the need to wear an OA sash during a COH is because they don't fully understand the appropriate times for wearing a sash. However, another part of me is a bit cynical, and thinks it is because they have a less than impressive merit badge sash, and so they decided the OA sash looks more impressive.

 

Oh, I am a bit suprised there is a 2003 version of the handbook. I guess that just goes to show I don't know everything.(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

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