Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
A Pictorial Catalog of
Commemorative Flagholders & Plaques
 of Organizations & Military
Odd Fellows
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Commemorative Plaques & Flagholders
 of Military and Organizations
as Photographed by Joyce M. Tice 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows

Patriarch Militant
Auxiliary toPatriarch Militant
Golden Scepter
1912 Austinville PA Lodge Certificate
1952 IOOF Mansfield Officers 1946 IOOF Mansfield
The Odd Fellows, like the Freemasons, is among the longest established of the present day fraternal organizations. The first recorded lodge was in 1745 in London and met at various taverns. It combines the social aspects with elements of mutual assistance to members. The predominantly working class members would often pass the hat for a fellow member in hard times. Over the years, many schisms have occured resulting in various offshoots of the secret society.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows began in North America either in 1819 or 1843 as a fraternal organization. It has four Lodge degrees, three Patriarch Militant degrees and one Honorary degree. Many of its symbols are similar to the Masons and Masonic rituals are influential in the Odd Fellows versions. The order claims not to be religious, but belief in a Supreme Being is required.

Alan Axelrod's book, International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders contains fairly detailed descriptions of their order.

As to presence in the cemeteries, the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs are among the greatest placers of flagholders and flags. They rank withthe Fire Departmens in quantity. In New York State and Pennsylvania, their flagholders are abundant as are memorials placed in cemeteries. In New Jersey cemeteries I have visited, I have found fewer. I am sure that there are many geographic variatons in the nubmer of members and the acitivy of individual lodges in placing flagholders. The flagholders are so abundant and so varied that I am not including all versions that I have photographed, but these represent the most common  and include the basic elements.

An example of a cemetery memorial
This contains the Eye of God symbol, the handshake
of fraternity and the three links of the FLT chain 
that characterizes IOOF markers.

This flagholder contains only the most basic element
of the I.O.O.F. symbolism, the three linked chain
and the lodge number. 

Introduction on Flagholder Section Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia Obtaining Present Day Flagholders

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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