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Elks (BPOE) (U.S.)

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

Last modified: 2016-03-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: elks | bpoe | benevolent and protective order of elks | fraternal |
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[Elks flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 March 2008



See also:


Overview

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks draws its membership largely from the so-called 'Heartland', the working people of Middle America. There are several other similar bodies which compete for membership among the same demographic group; these include the Loyal Order of Moose, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the International Woodmen of the World, and the Knights of Pythias. The Moose are by far the largest of these groups, and are particularly involved in child and family welfare and protection. They operate a large facility, originally an orphanage but now more a care home, for children at risk in Mooseheart, Illinois, near Chicago. I believe that all of these groups have their own flags and heraldic traditions.
Ron Lahav, 30 March 2008


Description

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a large U.S. fraternal order. Its symbol is canting, showing an elk head *overall* on a seal-like emblem. The background shows a white clockface with golden roman figures and black hands marking 11 o'clock, which is the hour (pm) for daily remmemberance of all Elks, and on the *lower* side a wide blue border the initials "BPOE" in wide very bold serif capitals separated by middots, with "B·P·" on the right side (dexter) of the elk and "·O·E" on the other side; on the upper side of the border, a golden five-pointed star.

This emblem shows centered on a Old Glory blue background as what seems to be the Order's flag. At www.salisburyelks.org/Elks%20history/FlagDayResolution1919.jpg, the image shows such a banner in the background. I found several other such banners with the seal in much larger relative size.

FWIW, a pin shows an Elks flag as white with seal, not blue. Sometimes the clock figures and the star shows in (an unexpected) red, and golden fur instead of "proper" representations abound.

The FlagDayResolution1919.jpg in the foreground shows a flag-related issue, the Elk's Flag Day Resolution 1919. The Elks decided on July 9th, 1919 to bar and withdraw membership to anyone who supported the "Bolsheviki, Anarchists, the I.W.W.(*), or kindred organizations. This was called the Flag Day Resolution and its document is magnificently handwritten and illuminated.
note* I.W.W., Industrial Workers of the World, a U.S. based trade union federation.

This resolution is worded to symbolize allegiance to the U.S. Constitution by means of the national flag, hence the name.

Notable Elks include Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford, and such disparate VIPs as Clint Eastwood and Buffalo Bill.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 March 2008


 
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