An interview with James Stuttle, former Lodge Advisor of Wenasa Quenhotan 23, former Council Vice President for Program, and long-time adult volunteer for the W.D. Boyce Council, BSA. The following is a transcript of an interview regarding the history of the Wenasa Quenhotan lodge flaps.
Those who know Jim will understand that, while this was an interview, the interviewer managed only one question. The remainder of the interview consisted of Jim's detailed answer to that question. It must have been a really good question!
Interviewer: "Jim, you have been a member of Wenasa Quenhotan Lodge of the Order of the Arrow since its inception. I see that you have brought a coat with several lodge flaps sewn onto it. What can you tell me about the lodge flaps issued by the lodge?"
Jim: "This coat displays the complete history of the Wenasa Quenhotan flaps for the Wenasa Quenhotan lodge. There are three series. There are a variety of issues... each of the flaps is an individual issue. There are three series within the history of the lodge, and then each individual flap sometime has multiple varieties based upon different looms and the different ways they were reproduced.
"The first series, 1973-1980, consists of the pastoral background. The second series, 1981-1990, is a computer type and linear design incorporates flying corn. The third series, beginning in 1990 is a combination of previous two with flying corn on pastoral background.
"S1: This flap is S1, 'S' meaning solid embroidery... S1 was developed in 1973. The design is actually mine, and Steve Rhodes and I worked on the color patterns. We were youth members of the Lodge at that time. This is a restricted flap... one per Honor for life. So the most that you could get is 3 if your were a Vigil Honor member, and one if your were an Ordeal member.
"S2, S3: At the same time that this was release in 1973, we came out with the red bordered and blue bordered trading flaps. They're exactly the same as S1 except for the border, and these were available in unlimited quantities as trading flaps.
"S2: This particular one, S2, with the red border... most of the ones we actually purchased were placed on hats originally, so that's a pretty tough flap to get hold of because they ended up getting thrown away with the hats once they wore out.
"We had these three flaps for the first three years.
"S5, S4: Then in 1976, National required that fleur-de-lis be placed on all Scout flaps to keep them from being produced illegally.. for copyright protection. And our Council's program director, when we reordered them, just went ahead and put the fleur-de-lis in himself. s5 as the restricted flap for 1976, one per honor, and S4 for the trading flap, unlimited.
"When we found this flap and were rather distressed at what he had done, so the S4 and S5 flaps were only ordered once.
"I should mention that the primary guide, Arapaho, which writes the flaps... the gentleman who puts Arapaho together... first found out about the existence of the blue border flap, and so he records the blue border as S4, and the white border as S5.
"But the lodge actually issued the restricted first so I put them on my jacket in the order that we actually issued them.
"S6: As I said, even in late 1976, we decided to move the fleur-de-lis from the center up to the right hand corner, so this is very similar to S1, only it has the fleur-de-lis in it. This is S6.
"S7: We didn't like the color of brown so we changed to green in S7. This remained the flap from 1977 through 1981.
"S8: In 1981 the youth leadership decided to go with a much more modern and up-dated look... and an oversized flap that was actually too large to fit on a pocket... that was not intentional... So S8 has this new yellow border and the really modern look with the flying corn. There was only one order of those because they were too large.
"S9: Then S9 was the primary flap for the lodge from 1981 through 1990. There were several orders of this, most of the differences in this are different manufacturers..
"S10.. this is the same flap but it has the Swiss style of stitching the way the original ones did, meaning that the colors were laid down underneath and then additional colors laid down on top to give some depth to it.
"S11, part of an historical series, put out in 1987. This is interesting in that it was supposed to be the 15th anniversary flap.. and one was put out for the Wenasa Quenhotan Lodge and for each of the three lodges that formed us. Of course the interesting thing is that although the councils merged in 1972, the lodges didn't merge until 1973, so it was actually the 14th anniversary of the lodge!
"S12: Again the primary difference that we went to a different supplier... the only one of our flaps that uses rounded corners on the top. We didn't care for that look, so we never used that again.
"S13: In 1990 the Order of the Arrow had its 75th anniversary, and, for the first time in the history of the lodge, we put out a special flap, geared to the OA's 75 anniversary, having the turtle, which was the symbol for the first lodge in Pennsylvania, and the MGM Indian head symbol, which we had never used in a flap before either. Simple flap design.
"F1: Also in 1990, we came out with our first NOAC flap. This is the only flap that the lodge has issued that does not have solid embroidery. The circle that the turtle is in does not have a solid embroidery background... it's twill. Very simple design, very limited edition, very difficult to find nowadays.
"S14: Also in 1990 we developed a flap series that continues to this day... and is a restricted series. This flap is a combination of the two previous series with the flying corn and the pastoral background, and the fleur-de-lis is incorporated as the sun. This issue of the series is available to any honor.
"S15: This flap is exactly the same as S14 on the interior, but the border has been changed to red to symbolize the ties of brotherhood. And this flap is available only to Brotherhood or Vigil members. It was done to try to promote conversion to Brotherhood membership. (National does not allow any different in flaps theoretically, but almost every lodge in the country does it.
"S16: This is the next NOAC flap. This is the 1992 NOAC delegate flap. Again has the MGM Indian head on it.
"S17: This is the 20th anniversary flap for the lodge... notice that on this one we actually got the dates right!
"S18: The next in the NOAC delegate series. These are used for the delegates that go to NOAC and they are used for trading purposes. The funds that we receive from the sale of these flaps are used to defray the cost of NOAC trips and to send boys to NOAC.
"S19: 1996 NOAC flap set: the blue border trading flap.
"S20: a special limited edition of the NOAC flap, priced at $10, and the extra money to develop scholarships to enable boys to go to NOAC."
Interviewer: "Thank you, Jim."
If you have additions or corrections to the Wenasa Quenhotan #23 lodge or flap history, please contact Jim Stuttle directly.
Created: 11/2/97; Latest update: 1/11/98
Copyright 1997 © by Stan Pope. All rights reserved.