Insignia

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Dwight Bischel - "Wab" Book

Dwight Bischel became a Scout in Chicago, Illinois and during the war years moved with his family to Bay City, Michigan. While in Bay City, Dwight earned his Eagle Scout with Silver Palm and was initiated into the Order of the Arrow. Dwight served as Lodge Chief of Gimogash Lodge, Summer Trails Council at Camp Haley for the summers of 1945 and 1946.

Patch Trading

Nobody knows when the first swap of Order of the Arrow emblems took place, but it had to be soon after the first badges of Wimachtendienk appeared. In the early years there was no trading of OA insignia. The first insignia in 1916 were pins. Pins were made of silver or gold. They were relatively expensive, certainly when compared to patches. An Unami Lodge gold Second Degree pin in 1919 might have cost $2.00; the cost of 20 die-cut felt camp monogram patches. No one was trading them with each other.

Wabaningo Lodge Emblem Handbook Produced

In 1952 Dwight W. Bischel published the Wabaningo Lodge Emblem Handbook, the “Wab” Book for short. It was a book sanctioned and actively promoted by the National OA Committee and was the first book to primarily feature OA patches. It was not a history book. It was an attempt to show a current or near current badge from each OA lodge that had issued what they called an emblem. (Note – they were called emblems in 1952 because they were emblematic; they stood for something. The ideal purpose for issuing insignia for the OA.)

Arrow Ribbon Points Right

The Universal Arrow Ribbon first introduced in 1942 had always pointed over the wearer's left shoulder. Starting in 1950 the OA decided to rid itself of code words that referenced “left” and instead used "right".  

National OA Committee Red Sash

In the spring 1950 issue of the National Bulletin, Arrowmen were told that members of the National OA Committee would be available to meet with them at the 1950 NOAC. It was stated that they would be accessible to help members better understand the Order and its policies. Members were also told,

you’ll recognize these men because they will be wearing a special Vigil Honor band on which the colors will be reversed. These bands were made specifically for our Committee so that lodge members could recognize these officials and seek their help.

First Brotherhood Sash

The Order of the Arrow National Bulletin in the spring of 1950 announced that there was a new sash for members of the Brotherhood Honor to wear.

The Goodman National OA Committee Red Sash

In 1950 the National OA Committee created a reversed color OA Vigil Honor sash so that National OA Committeemen could easily be identified. There were as few as 15 of these special felt Vigil Honor sashes issued. One of these special sashes belonged to E. Urner Goodman. The sash was only used for a few years and after 1954 the sash retired from usage.

First OA Handbook

With the coming full integration of the Order into the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), it was decided by the OA National Executive Committee that an Order of the Arrow (OA) handbook was needed. The groundwork had been done in preparation, but it was all contained in letters, pamphlets, and notes from conversations.

OA Patches Approved for Uniform Wear

While patches are now pervasive in the Order of the Arrow, at the beginning of 1945, Arrowmen were still prohibited from wearing any OA patch on their uniform. This was related to the independence of the Order from national BSA. The BSA Uniform Committee had not permitted WWW patches on the uniform and the National Lodge dutifully requested compliance. However as often is the case, not everyone complied.

OA Handbooks

With the coming full integration of the Order of the Arrow (OA) into the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), it was decided by the National Executive Committee of the Order of the Arrow that a handbook was needed. The National Executive Committee wanted to make sure that all lodges would have the same information.

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