Jump to content
captainron14

OA Pocket Flap wear

Recommended Posts

I am looking for references to where it states what pocket flap an OA member in good standing may wear.

 

My youngest Son just went through his ordeal last weekend and has shown a lot of excitement in being a member of the OA.

He has said he wants a "cool looking" pocket flap to wear, but that the current flap leaves a lot to be desired. He showed me a photo of a flap that caught his eye. Its a "trader flap" issued for NOAC back in 2003. Not that valuable/collectible, and not hard to obtain.

I am planning to get it for him and have it sewn on his uniform just prior to the next COR when he will be presented with his Star rank.

 

Now, the reason for the question.

An adult member of our lodge heard about my plans and informed me that he was not authorized to wear that flap. I explained that it was just "a trader", nothing that needed to be earned (other than OA membership). He said my son would have had to attend that NOAC in order to be authorized.

 

Others have said not to worry about this guy and that it is nothing.

 

I'm not a member of the uniform police, but I do believe in doing whats right. My larger concern is to encourage my Son in his scouting career.

 

Any words of advice or guidance.

 

Thank you,

WWW

CR14

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

captainron14,

It depends on your Lodge rules, but in the lodges I have been a member of, the Trader patches are not sold to be worn but anyone. The NOAC members wear the "restricted" NOAC patch that they "cannot treade" and the Lodge sells the traders to collectors to make money. In my Lodge your son would be expected to wear the ugly Lodge patch he was given at his Ordeal.

 

You could have him check with his Chapter Chief and see what his Lodge expects him to wear.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that in our Lodge, a member can wear ANY Flap that has been approved by the Lodge. This would include a Trader Flap.

 

We do have some flaps that were produced privately or samples rejected by the Lodge that are not approved for wear.

 

Our By-Laws do not address the wearing of the flap, only that the Lodge will have one. Most of the Lodge rules I have seen are the same. Some might have an unwritten rule, but that would be impossible to enforce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no uniform police like OA uniform police.

 

Some flaps in some lodges have long histories behind them. He might check into that. It may turn out that once he knows the story behind the flap it will be much cooler for him to wear.

 

If he still wants to wear the trader flap then explain to him that there may be some that will not approve of his wearing the flap then let him decide what to do. It will likely only be important in a year or two when he is running for an office, by which time there will likely be another flap that will mean more to him anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the issue is a matter of 'logic' more so then 'policy'.

 

I think it a little dishonest to wear a NOAC flap if you didn't attend that NOAC. (I am assuming this 'trader' flap does specify that its for NOAC?) Its the same as if you where to wear a NOAC patch for a NOAC you didn't attend.

 

Same goes for wearing an lodge anniversary flap from before you joined, or even an old lodge flap from before you joined.

 

Now, some lodges may have a policy (most likely set down in their Lodge Rules/Bylaws) that the current flap is what is worn. This is done as a way to 'catch' people who joined in the past, but never kept up their membership. And prehaps get them to pay up their dues. My lodge did, so I am always in the habit of wearing the current lodge flap, regardless of how 'poor' a design it might be. But then you also have old members (sometimes very old) who continue to wear their original flap or the like).

 

Now, in my area, most lodges change their flap every 2-3 years, so even if we have a bad design, we will soon get another, hopefully better one.

 

Frankly, I've also gotten out of the habit of bothering with wearing NOAC, Jambo, and Section Conference host flaps.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CR14,

If you really want to get technical, your son can wear any flap that your lodge produced at any time, especially now that National has put a ban on honor level restricted flaps. However, VigilNavyCPO and jet have the best recommendations. Talk to some people, like the chapter and lodge officers/advisers, and see what they say about the subject.

 

Lodge culture really determines the outcome of this. I know that I would never wear a NOAC flap for one that I didn't attend, but I do enjoy collecting them, and I do know people who wear flaps for events they didn't attend. Actually, just yesterday I saw a guy wearing my favorite of our NOAC flaps. This guy doesn't attend lodge functions, let alone NOAC. Should this stop him? Who knows? I sure as heck don't care. We had different flap colors for the different honor levels. Now an Ordeal member could, theoretically, wear a Vigil flap, but that will probably never happen because the colors (and the flap design) have been the same since the merger in 1972. They have become part of our culture.

 

So, Captain, you should check with those who know how your lodge handles it, and trust them. No one outside your lodge would probably ever question him, so they are the ones you should be concerned about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal philosophy is that I don't wear (or even seriously collect) patches of any kind if I personally didn't earn it by attending that function. I wore the OA flap I was issued as a young Ordeal member in 1968 until I made Brotherhood in 1991, then switched to the Brotherhood flap. Our Lodge has since gone back to "one flap for all", but I haven't replaced the flap yet. The Lodge once had an infamous policy of "one per lifetime", so the older flaps (like mine - pre FDL) are quite rare and valuable. To wear a NOAC flap that one didn't attend would be, in my mind, akin to wearing a Jamboree patch that one didn't attend. It simply not "proper".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a good rule of thumb is if the boy did not earn the patch or was not at the event then it should not be on his uniform. Have him put it in his patch collection as a collectable or trading patch. Tell your son to get active in his OA chapter and he can offer to help design a new flap for the lodge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally would wear any regular issue flap (historical or current) or any contingent flap that I was a part of. The rest would go in my collection. For example, our Lodge had a Work Force flap for those that attended any of the prep days for this year's section conference. I have the flap, but I would never wear it because I was unable to attend any of the work days.

 

The uniform is descriptive of a scout's or scouter's experience, so IN MY OPINION (and it's just my opinion), wearing an event flap for an event you did not attend might be considered a bit misleading.

 

Currently, one of my uniforms has my flap from when I went through my ordeal in 1988. At the time it was considered a dull design, and it was just after they ceased the Ordeal/Brotherhood/Vigil flap set, which was more colorful. Now I get plenty of questions about the flap, because it's rarely ever seen on a uniform.

 

My newest uniform shirt has the current flap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

captainron14,

Let me see, if this was my son.

I think I'd explain what has been posted here by our fellow forum members.

All the good stuff about how maybe wearing a patch that might kinda, sorta give others the impression that maybe you'd been someplace where you hadn't, might be seen as not being 100% kosher.

Then I'd ask him if he still wanted to get and wear the patch.

I'd be OK to go along with his decision and I'd buy him the patch anyway.

Eamonn.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What it all boils down to is it doesn't really matter what our lodges do or what we think. Have him ask his lodge chief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit unclear about something. The 2003 NOAC "trader" patch. Was it issued by your son's Lodge or was it issued by another Lodge?

 

If it was issued by your son's Lodge - then it could be worn I suppose but you better prepare him for the inevitable questioning he's going to get from people who see a 2003 NOAC flap on a Scout who just became an Ordeal member of the Lodge in 2009. Frankly, unless there's a good (true) story to go with it (like this was my brothers Lodge flap, the one that was killed in Iraq last year), then it would probably be best if he wore his "plain jane" Lodge flap. You could suggest that wearing the current Lodge flap helps bind him to his brothers in the Lodge - that it's as much an emblem of the shared trials they all went through to earn the right to wear that Lodge flap as it is a patch that identifies him as a member of the Lodge.

 

If, on the other hand, it was issued by another Lodge, then things get a bit clearer. Members may only wear Lodge flaps from the Lodge they are currently registered in. Back in my younger days, one of the coolest Lodge flaps ever was for the Malibu Lodge in California - it was a multi-color wonder with a shark on it. I did buy one for my collection - but never would have heard the end of it if I tried to wear it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the majority on this one.

 

Is it a bummer that he's not thrilled about the design of the current lodge flap? Yes, but that's his flap. That's the one he earned by completing his ordeal and that's the one that the majority of the lodge likely wears.

 

Rather than wearing a flap from an event that happened six years ago (when he likely wasn't even a Boy Scout), encourage him to attend future lodge events (NOAC this summer, if there are still spots and Conclave next spring) where a separate flap will likely be issued. It will mean more to him to have been involved with the event rather than just getting a "cool" looking flap. Perhaps, as someone suggested, he could even design a new flap for one of those events that he'd be proud to wear.

 

And you could also use this as an opportunity to introduce him to patch collecting/trading. Encourage him to wear the flap he's earned, but work on collecting the ones from his lodge that he thinks are cool. It's always a good place to start and I'm still working on collecting all the flaps that my original lodge, Kecoughtan, issued (have almost all the ones from the new lodge when we merged). It's a fun hobby that will allow him to meet people from all over.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's great when scouts show interest in historic patches....

 

But before you know it, that ugly flap will be historic and cool!

 

This happened to me as a military brat...we moved and I joined a lodge with a long history. The only bad flap in it's history was the one that was current when I joined. Before and after, nothing but superb flaps. Mine? Ugly as sin.

 

But I wore the thing till I moved. Towards the end, everyone else had retired that flap and were wearing the cool new ones. Wearing that old flap showed folks when I started in the lodge, and I was fine with it.

 

Lodge by laws are the key. Even if they aren't clear either way, lodge lore should be acknowledged and followed, as much as possible. This can be tricky, especially if it's only one or two old nay-sayers who make the most noise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep I agree with everyone else, don't wear a patch that you weren't around for EXCEPT for the following reasons.

 

1) There is some family connection to the event and patch: i.e. it was your dad's or granddad's lodge flap when he became a member, my brother who is serving in Afghanistan went to the NOAC and I am wearing it in his honor.

 

2)It was gift to you with the intention that you wear it, i.e. a fellow Vigil member gave it to you to wear in recognition of you becoming Vigil.

 

3) You are doing a historical display, and that was the period flap.

 

and my personal favorite

 

4) You designed the patch for the event, and at the last minute was unable to attend. That happened to me twice now, at the last conclave and at the '96 NOAC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×