sash

60th Anniversary Award

The Order of the Arrow (OA) celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 1975. In keeping with tradition established ten years earlier during the Order’s 50th Anniversary, the celebration was a national event. In addition to the OA milestone, America was also about to celebrate its bicentennial. To recognize these two historic events, the National OA Committee established the Order of the Arrow 60th Anniversary Bicentennial Award.

50th Anniversary Award Announced

The Order of the Arrow (OA) celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1965. The celebration was a national event, and each lodge, chapter, and Arrowman was urged to participate to the fullest. Area fellowship training conferences placed special emphasis on the 50th Anniversary program of service, and the celebration culminated with the 50th Anniversary National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC).

Sashes Change From Felt to Twill

From the late teens until 1948, Grand Lodge / National Lodge issued sashes or bands were made of wool felt with wool felt arrows sewn onto the sash. Over the years because of a variety of manufacturers, the width of the sash and length of the sash varied. The same happened with the shape of the arrows sewn onto the sashes. The snaps also varied.

Evolution of Sashes

In the early ceremonies and Wimachtendienk literature arrow sashes were called arrow bands. The original band is the black sash used in the 1915 ceremonies on Treasure Island. Harry Yoder describes it as a black band with a white vertical stripe on the front. George Chapman described presumably the same band as being black with a white vertical arrow on the front with the arrow pointing over the shoulder. This band is the first sash and none are known to exist. The material used to make the sash is often described as being the same material that was used in the making of the black academic type robes worn by Goodman and Edson for the first ceremony.

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.

Third Degree / Vigil Honor OA Sashes

The first example of anything resembling a sash worn by recipients of the Third Degree (Vigil Honor) is a fraternal “bib” type three-part sash. These sashes can be observed around the necks of founders E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in the photograph taken at the Rededication Ceremony held at Camp Biddle in conjunction with the first Grand Lodge Meeting in 1921. Other than the photograph itself, there is no other evidence, documentation or even confirmation that these are indeed Third Degree sashes.

First Vigil Honor Sash

The only known photograph of the original sash for Third Degree (Vigil Honor) members is from the rededication council fire at Camp Biddle during the 1921 first meeting of the Grand Lodge. The photo shows the three part “bib” type sash around both E. Urner Goodman’s and Carroll A. Edson’s necks. One side of the triangle had an arrow pointing over the right shoulder signifying the First Degree. One side of the triangle had an arrow pointing over the left shoulder signifying the Second Degree. The third side of the triangle had an arrow pointing to Goodman’s left as he wore it. The third arrow and side completed the triangle, which was the sign of the Third Degree. There are no other known pictures showing this bib; nor are there any known bib type sashes in collections or displays. There is also no evidence that anyone other than Goodman and Edson ever wore this sash.

First Sash (Black)

One of the enduring mysteries of the early days of the Wimachtendienk is the question of what the very first sashes of our Order looked like. There are two differing written accounts, both from extremely reliable eyewitnesses that were present at the beginning in 1915. Harry Yoder, the first guide and charter member of the Order, wrote circa 1921,

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