Lodge numbers were issued from 1926 until 2004. While it was a long tradition of the Order to use lodge numbers, they eventually became outdated and problematic. For all other purposes the national office was using council numbers. Lodge numbers were confusing and a relic of the past. Furthermore, the numbers had lost a great deal of their meaning by 2004. While the original numbers were given out in the order the lodges received their charters that practice had changed. The change was the result of councils and their lodges merging. In early years when two or more lodges merged together they would typically retain the lowest number. That way the number represented the order in which the OA had first come to the council.