Insignia

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/history/public_html/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

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".  

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.

First Flap - Ajapeu Lodge

Over the years there have been over 25,000 different flap shaped badges made for the OA. In total over ten million (10,000,000) patches have been made, worn, and of course, traded. The members of Ajapeu Lodge, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, wore the first of all of those flaps on their uniform shirts. It was also against BSA insignia guidelines.

First Official Uniform Insignia

Even though the Order had existed for over a quarter century and had always used insignia, it was not until 1942 that Arrowmen could “officially” wear any OA item on the uniform. In a sign of the growing importance of the expanding official Scout program, the BSA Uniform Committee authorized the Universal Arrow Ribbon. The first Universal Arrow Ribbon was very similar to what is still used today. It was made to fit over the right shirt pocket button and was a red and white silk ribbon with a sterling arrow.

History of Pocket Flap

It is strongly recommended by the National Committee that these emblems be made to fit the shape of the right shirt pocket flap. The right shirt pocket flap has been approved by the National Committee on Badges and Insignia for official Order of the Arrow Insignia where the other emblems are only temporary insignia when used on the uniform. It should be realized that this is a great advantage and a compliment to the Order of the Arrow. -THE ORDER OF THE ARROW HANDBOOK pp. 64 & 72, 1954 printing, 1950 edition

In the 1930s the Scout uniform was a showcase for all sorts of colorful Scouting related insignia on the shoulders, sleeves, and collars, as well as above and on the pockets. In fact, the only areas of the Scout uniform spared from this potpourri of decoration were the back of the shirt and pocket flaps. The pocket flap eventually became the official location for wearing Order of the Arrow insignia, but not without a few twists and turns.

OA Requests First Uniform Insignia

As of January 1940, the Order of the Arrow still was not authorized to wear any insignia on a Boy Scout uniform. Totem pins, the official insignia since the beginning of WWW, were only authorized for civilian wear. Few emblems existed. The patches that did exist were typically simple emblems worn on sweaters, breach cloths, or jackets. While some Arrowmen did wear badges on their Scout uniforms, they were worn in violation of National Lodge and BSA rules.

Second Official Jeweler

In 1927, the Grand Lodge selected Hood and Company of Philadelphia as the second Official Jeweler of the Order. Hood and Company with Arrowman Jennings Hood proprietor replaced the National Jewelry Company. Hood and Company made the silver arrow pins worn by all members as well as the Brotherhood Honor / Second Degree and Vigil Honor / Third Degree totem pins for individual lodges.

First Approval for Patches

Up until 1926, pins were the only insignia approved for use by Arrowmen. This had been the rule in both the first Constitution of Wimachtendienk in 1916 and the constitution framed at the 1921 Grand Lodge Meeting. When the Order expanded to a dozen lodges at least two of them desired patches as insignia.

First Official Jeweler

During its first year of existence, the Grand Lodge entered into an agreement with the National Jewelry Company (NJC) of Philadelphia to be the first Official Jeweler of Wimachtendienk. NJC would manufacture First Degree arrow pins and lodge totem pins. These were the only authorized insignia by the Order and pre-date patches

First Insignia

For years and years generations of Arrowmen have swapped and collected OA badges. Over 2,000 new pieces of OA insignia are issued every single year. However, in the beginning it was not patches, it was pins, some as small as a dime that were issued as insignia. Wimachtendienk was started as a fraternity and fraternities frequently use pins, starting with a pledge pin.

Syndicate content