The first lodge flap was approved in 1955. It was designed by Merle Vogel and Holland St. John, both of Richland. The main color was green and was dome-shaped. The border was yellow with white letters. The patch was worn on the right pocket where temporary insignia are usually placed. It remained the lodge emblem for five years.
The first patch designed to fit on the right pocket flap was approved in 1960. It was designed by Tom Simonton of Pendleton. The background was black. The border was gold and it had gold lettering stating the lodge’s name at the bottom of the patch. The design featured a mountain sheep standing on top of a blue mountain with a red arrow through the center of the patch. By decision of the executive committee, these lodge patches could not be traded.
Recognizing the need for a trading patch in the early 1970’s, and to fill the need of arrowmen attending a national jamboree and owning several uniforms, a multi-colored patch with a new design was approved. Several sketches were submitted, and the concept developed by Ron Olson of Richland was accepted and submitted to the national supply service artists for refinement. It was to be fully embroidered and featured an Indian camp scene at the base of mountains. Three canoes were beached on the shore of a lake. The scene was to represent the Wallowa Mountains with Lake Wallowa in the foreground. The three canoes represented Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil Honor members of the Order of the Arrow.
Around 1977, William Berry of Walla Walla designed a new lodge patch. It was multi-colored with a gold border. It featured red letters for the lodge’s name. The central feature was a large mountain sheep’s head facing slightly sideways.
Three variations of this patch were approved a short time later. Ordeal members were to receive the patch with a gold border, Brotherhood members to receive one with a black border, and Vigil Honor members to receive one with a red border. The order was placed and the National Office accidently sent the wrong patches. The patches sent with the three different borders were from the design of the patch previous to the Berry Patch – “the Three Canoe Patch”.
These patches were sold to the members as traders except that the 25 red bordered “Three Canoe” patches were only sold to Vigil members of the Lodge. The order for Lodge flaps was placed with the National Office once again except that the Lodge Staff Adviser made the unpopular decision that the different borders were not to be ordered. These patches were used from 1978 to 1983. This is why we have the red and black bordered “Three Canoe” patches which is not mentioned anywhere else in the patch history section. This is also why we have a plastic back and cloth back yellow bordered “Three Canoe” patch. The plastic back, yellow bordered “Three Canoe” patch is from the same loom as the red and black bordered patches of the same design. The cloth backed, yellow bordered, “Three Canoe” patches were ordered prior to 1978.
The next major change in the lodge patch appeared in 1984. Greg Cole, Don Carlyle, and Bill Buchmiller of the Tri-Cities were chiefly responsible for the design, often referred to as the “Squaw Patch” among trading circles. It was multi-colored with a silver border. It featured red lettering stating the lodge’s name and number. The central figure was a Nez Perce Indian wearing a blanket capote, looking toward the Blue Mountains. It was used as the official lodge patch for only one year. A number of lodge members felt it looked too much like an Indian woman with a papoose on her back.
The next year the patch featuring the head of the mountain sheep was brought back (William Berry patch). The only change made was that the patch had a grey border. This was the the official patch for the next seven years.
To help celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the lodge, a special lodge patch was approved. The design was taken from the Simonton patch with the letters 40th added to the background in red. The background was black with a gold border. The fleur-de-lis was hidden in the background. This patch was approved by the executive commitee in 1986.
After the introduction of the lodge’s Participation Award, for those arrowmen who qualified, a patch featuring the head of the mountain sheep with a silver mylar border was approved. Only one patch could be earned per year.
A special NOAC delegation patch was approved in 1990. It celebrated the 75th anniversary of OA and was the first time the lodge patch was not ordered through the National Supply Service. Difficulty in getting the proposed design to fit the pocket flap was encountered, so the executive commitee placed the order with a private company.
Anticipating the possibility of the lodge merging with a neighboring lodge due to the consolidation of councils in the early 1990s, a special patch was designed duplicating the original flap patch first introduced in 1960 and designed by Pendleton’s Tom Simonton. The thinking of the executive commitee was that the last patch (if it was to be) should be very much like the first patch. The same design only with a gold mylar border was used as the Spirit Award.
Problems arose with the 1994 NOAC contingent pocket flap patch. When the order was received, it was learned that the wrong color blue was used and as a result, the order had to be resubmitted. A special patch was designed by the NOAC committee to encourage class participation.
A special 50th
Anniversary packet was prepared in 1995 to raise funds for the 50th anniversary banquet to be held in March of 1996. It included a commemorative pocket flap patch and a triangle neckerchief patch using the Tom Simonton 1960 design with a red 50 with a gold mylar border, and a copy of the lodge history. They were packaged and sold first to members of the lodge and then made available to arrowmen throughout the country. One hundred packets were prepared by the committee under the chairmanship of Luke Roach of Pasco.
Also in 1995 spring and fall Ordeal candidates received a revision to the 1960 Tom Simonton design with a red “50” in the background and with a gold border. Brotherhood candidates received the same version, only with a red border. For those members of the lodge who qualified for the Spirit Award, the same version, only with a blue border, was presented to them. These lodge patches were also designed and developed by the 50th Anniversary committee.
After the 50th Anniversary year was over, the lodge switched primary flaps to the William Berry design. This time, the flap had a red border. When the flap was ordered, a Spirit Award flap also was ordered. The Spirit Award was the same flap, except it had a red mylar border. Later that year, two new flaps were issued for the NOAC contingent. The patches were similar to the design created by Berry, except they were larger. The flap with the yellow border was issued as a trading flap. The red border flap was reserved for only the members of the lodge that went to NOAC and participated in the lodge meetings and events.
The next trip to NOAC saw the issuance of two more patches. The Berry design was used again, except with a change in the colors. The entire patch was made with white thread making it a “ghost flap”. 1998 NOAC was also put on the sides of the flap with gold mylar. The contingent flap that was limited to participants from the lodge had a gold mylar border and was used to promote attendance at lodge meetings and participation in activities.
In 1999 the lodge began searching for new ways to raise funds to pay for expenses. The Executive Committee agreed to create a two piece patch set that would be sold to raise money. After requesting for patch designs to be submitted, the Executive Committee decided on the design created by Mike Ash. The bottom piece was an extension of the flap that Berry created. The bottom piece of set includes the mountain ram’s body standing on a mountain peak, a river, tipis, and canoes. The set design was based primarily on the “Three Canoes” design created by Ron Olson. Miscommunication between the lodge and patch manufacturer resulted in a few errors that can be found in the mountain peak that the ram is standing on. This set was only available for lodge members to buy and featured a black border.
After seeing the success of the first fundraiser set, the Executive Committee decided to create another set to be sold outside the lodge. Instead of creating a new design, the same design created by Ash was used again, this time with a red border. The top piece of the set is the regular flap, but the bottom piece was slightly modified to correct the previous miscommunications. 500 sets were created and advertised on the lodge web site and through discussion lists. When the second order for two piece sets went in, the lodge also ordered new Spirit Award flaps. The patch is the current flap with a gray border. The red mylar border was not very visible, and it was decided that a gray border would be used to designate this special flap.
In preparation for the 2000 NOAC at the University of Tennessee, the Lodge decided to once again issue two flaps for the event. The Lodge decided to use the regular flap with a few changes in color. The NOAC trader flap was identical to the regular flap except with “2000 NOAC” put on the sides in gold mylar thread. In addition, “WA-LA-MOOT-KIN 336” and “WWW” was changed from red to gold mylar. 100 delegate flaps were made as well. These were identical to the trader, except with a gold mylar border.
Information through 1995 taken from Council Fires 50th Anniversary Edition by L. Holland St. John.