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Issues of the Palmetto State Time Capsule Edition

Issues of the Palmetto State

This is an article that has not been on the web in at least a decade!  This was posted on the original Santeeswapper.com (my first website) and was likely written in the late 1990s.  I always had in my mind that this outline would make a great knowledge and training class at a Dixie Fellowship.  Kinda show how each of the lodges feeds ideas into each other and they all have their own unique memorabilia traditions.  The original version had hyperlink pictures of all the images mentioned - still not sure if I can recover those and add them in. Of course a lot has changed in the last 15 years so prepare to step back in time when you read this! Jason Spangler

It is really interesting to look at the six lodges in South Carolina (including Bobwhite #87 which is split between SC and GA) to see the variety of memorabilia they have issued through the years. Generally, we are looking only at traditional lodge issues. This would include memorabilia that would be worn on a Scout uniform such as patches, neckerchiefs, jacket patches and the like. T-shirts, jackets, spirit rags, and hats are going to be left out of this discussion for obvious reasons.

In a strange way the issues of these Palmetto State lodges reflect the changing times and sometimes changing makeup of their executive committees. When BSA wanted to see more uniformity in their patches they required that the initials BSA or the fleur-de-lis had to be on all Scout memorabilia. This prompted every lodge to rework their flaps. In recent years lodges have followed national fads and issued two-piece sets and ghost flaps. Other times the memorabilia changes because somebody gets an idea and runs it through the executive committee and boom you have a chapter patch or chenille or 1 per person delegate flap. It seems as if there is no rhyme or reason for some of the patches that lodges put out.

However, if you really look you can see lots of traditions that flow through the history of this memorabilia. The lodges even seem to have personalities. Most of the lodges are really conservative, stick with a design and don’t crank out a lot of patches. Take for example Akk’s “chicken on a stick” or Santee’s parakeet, or Skyuka’s thunderbird. Bobwhite is the oldest lodge in the Carolinas but sticks with its basic design and traditionally put outs patches at an anemic rate. On the other hand the wild child in the bunch is the lowcountry boys of Unali’yi which have tended to make a patch for everything over the last decade.

Three Flap System

The three-flap system is a plan where a different lodge flap is issued for the three levels of membership in the Order of the Arrow. Nearly every Palmetto State lodge has issued a three-flap set at some point in their history. (except Bobwhite) The first lodge to use a system like this was Santee who in 1957 issued their first flap, a black twill for ordeal candidates and a blue twill for brotherhood members. There were less than 10 vigil members at this time so no vigil flap was produced. Santee has come back to this system twice from 1975-1982 and then again from 1997 to present. Muscogee first used a three flap system in the 1977. Skyuka followed around 1985. Unali'yi had it in the 70s and has gone back to it several times since. Of these four lodges Muscogee is the only one not using a three-flap system as of January of 2002. Because the three-flap system issues make up such a large portion of the memorabilia issued let's take a look the plan in greater detail.

Recognition: Normally, brothers only where their OA sash at an appropriate function. Therefore, the three-flap system serves to distinguish what level a member has obtained on their Class A uniform. The Vigil Honor is bestowed upon an Arrowmen for unselfish service and therefore the Vigil flap is another way to recognize this individual. Skyuka Lodge issues a large leather triangle patch for Vigil Honor inductees as a recognition emblem.

Incentive: Another purpose is to encourage Ordeal brothers to seal their membership in the order by becoming Brotherhood members. In this way the Brotherhood flap is a carrot to help encourage the Ordeal member to achieve the next level of membership. Along this line Skyuka Lodge issues a one per life Brotherhood neckerchief that a brother can purchase upon obtaining his Brotherhood. Bobwhite recently came out with an anniversary Brotherhood flap to help encourage brotherhood conversion.

Negatives: Some people do not like the three-flap system because they believe it promotes the idea of rank in the Order of the Arrow. The Vigil Honor for example is bestowed upon a person and can’t be earned so does a Vigil Honor Flap on a uniform give the wrong impression? The OA ceremonies provide secret ways to determine if a brother is a Brotherhood or Vigil Honor member so does wearing a special flap defeat the purpose of this ceremonial symbolism?

Complications: The other drawbacks are that the system is expensive. It can cost a lot of money to keep three sets of flaps on inventory all the time. Some lodges use restrictions that make it complicated for the treasurer to know who to sell the right flap to. In this way bookkeeping can become a headache.Of course a Scout is trustworthy but should the treasurer demand to see the membership card of anyone they are unsure of? How would that slow the lodge store down on Sunday morning?

Restrictions

Over the course of their history lodges in the state have used a great variety of restrictions. Some lodges have traditionally restricted their memorabilia while others have practiced a more open policy. Of course every lodge might restrict special issue patches such as only allowing NOAC delegates to purchase the NOAC flap or only allowing brotherhood members to purchase a certain flap such as a three flap system. Sometimes a restriction is due to common sense. If you only make 200 of one issue you need to sell it 2 per person to make sure everybody gets one. This discussion is more on what some people call the “lodge totem”. This is the flap that the lodge members wear on their uniforms, in other words the current flap of the lodge.

The most conservative lodges in this area (I like to call them patch republicans) are Santee and Skyuka. Santee has had some form of restriction on almost all of its patches. Usually the flaps have a restriction that was built into the lodge rules and by laws. In the early 1960s the first fully embroidered flap was restricted to 3 per life. Later in the 1960s the restriction changed to one per activity attended for 24 hours (max 3/year). This restriction stuck for several decades until being slightly modified at the direction of a new scout executive in 2000.

Skyuka has had a 2 per life flap since the 1960s. Even when it had a three-flap system those flaps were restricted to two per life. Beginning in the mid 1980s and continuing through the late 1990s the lodge issued a two per activity red border flap alongside the two per life flap. For Skyuka that was a liberal policy. The flip side of these patch restrictions is Atta Kulla Kulla, which has never restricted its regular issue lodge flaps.

Muscogee is interesting because they have gone back and forth and are now totally unrestricted. In the 1980s their flaps were so unrestricted that a family friend and former ranger at Camp Coker bought some Muscogee flaps at Belks in Columbia. Later in the 90s the lodge tightened down the restriction. However, in 1997? they made their flap completely unrestricted.

Service

It is sometimes not easy to distinguish a service issue from any other restriction that requires so many hours attendance at a lodge function. However, there are a couple of examples of memorabilia that had to be earned. An unusual exception is the Santee service armband. Although brothers in the late 50s did not have to earn this armband it was issued to be worn at non OA events and says “service patrol” on the armband.

Unali’yi in the 1980s had a small elangomat rectangle and recently Muscogee has used a special border elangomat flap that has a tough service requirement. Santee is the only lodge to issue service memorabilia that had to be earned separate of a lodge fellowship. In 1993 the lodge issued an anniversary service patch and followed up in 1994 with a service pie neckerchief. In both cases the standard was 6 hours of service rendered at a lodge or chapter workday.

Fundraiser

All lodges make a little bit of money on their lodge issues. However, some lodges in the section have created memorabilia specifically as a fundraiser. Unali’yi Lodge issued a set of fundraiser flaps to assist in building the J. Rucker Newberry Memorial Lodge in 1993. The adult flaps cost more than the youth flaps. In 2001 Unali’yi produced a Dance Team chenille at $50 a pop to raise money for Indian Affairs. Recently Santee issued a $100 flap to raise money for a project to build staff city at camp. In the mid 90s Atta Kulla Kulla sold a lodge neckerchief for $25 each. They are also the only lodge that issues a special life membership flap. Although you could say the $100 fee covers dues and mailings for years to come the policy of selling them another life member flap each year at $20 each is a fundraiser.

Maybe more intriguing is when the council uses the lodges name and totem to make a fundraiser patch. This happened to Skyuka in 1998 when the Palmetto council issued council strips that borrowed the lodge name and totem for a fundraiser patch without getting the lodge's approval. And yes I know that the lodge belongs to the council blah blah blah.

Traders

There have been a couple of times when lodges have issued flaps simply to be used as trading items but not really intended to replace the regular lodge flap. Unali’yi issued a trader flap in the 1970s with a jumping white deer. Santee just recently came out with a trader flap at the direction of the scout executive. Following lodge tradition though they only made 300 (gotta love those patch republicans). You could say that Skyuka has used its NOAC flaps as traders. When the lodge made its first NOAC flap in 1992 the lodge had never made an unrestricted flap. However, for that event the lodge put out a twill flap and cranked out over 1,000 of them for their delegates to trade. All the lodges (except Santee) have made NOAC flaps in quantities so that delegates would have something to trade.

Delegate

Most lodges at some point have created memorabilia for delegates attending Dixie, NOAC or even the National Scout Jamboree. The interesting thing about this memorabilia is its variety. Everything from neckerchiefs, slides, odd shapes, segments, 2 piece sets, and of course flaps have been issued by the lodges in South Carolina as a delegate item. Usually these items are sold just to the delegates attending the event but sometimes other members of the lodge are allowed to purchase them as well. From 1992-1996 Santee issued three NOAC odd shapes and each time member of the lodge were allowed to purchase one prior to the NOAC.

Sometimes these delegate items were even broken down to a true delegate (limited number just to delegates) and an unrestricted trader type issue. This happened with Muscogee in 1985 (yellow border E. Urner Goodman), Skyuka in 1994 (36 gold mylar border), and Unali’yi in 2000 (50 silver mylar border) just to name the obvious ones.

Dixie Host

Hosting the Dixie Fellowship is a huge undertaking but surprisingly only three times have lodges issued memorabilia to commemorate hosting Dixie. Santee issued its “Dixie Host” flap in 1983. Muscogee issued a host patch in 1993 that uses the design of the Dixie patch. Most recently in 1999 AKK issued the centerpiece of an activity patch set which used hosting Dixie as its theme. Although Unali’yi hasn’t issued a true Dixie host issue they have created a set of activity patches when they hosted in 1989 and 1997 that use the same design of the Dixie patch.

Chapter

The earliest chapter item is the Kiawah Chapter flap from Unali’yi that was issued in the 60s (or 70s?). Skyuka and Atta Kulla have issued several chapter items. The notables in Skyuka are the Spartanburg and York issues from the 1970s and the tough Southbounder issue from AKK in the 1980s. Santee had its own odd chapter piece in the late 1970s with the Chicora Chapter round. Muscogee has a different twist with one chapter having a regular issue patch and a one per life yellow border issue. Among chapter patches in these lodges most were limited to chapter members only with some having different restrictions.

Dance Team/Indian Affairs

It would make sense for the only lodge that has really been known for a successful Indian Affairs program over the years is also the only lodge to really put out memorabilia for this reason. Unali’yi started back in the 1960s with the famous “63” and “67” dancer flaps and the “IP 62”. In the 1980s the lodge issued a one per life dance team jacket patch for the Ta Cha Kan To Kan dancers. Recently they issued patches to commemorate the lodge sing team's 2000 championship NOAC. Santee and Skyuka have issued jackets for their dance teams without a patch sewn on. According to the Blue Book Bobwhite has issued a dance team patch but I have personally never seen or heard tale of it.

North Carolina Disclaimer

I don't want to offend members of the North Carolina lodges who are a part of the Dixie Fellowship by excluding them from this discussion. It is my intent to show how the lodges in the Palmetto State have many unique traditions. Although some Tarheel State lodges have been a part of the Dixie off and on since the beginning I didn't include them in this discussion for two major reasons.

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