New Lodge and Its Flaps Pocumtuc 83

Pocumtuc lodge 83 has a first flap controversy


Pocumtuc Lodge, formed from the merger of Allogagan 83 and Memsochet 507, has recently issued their first flaps. These include Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil flaps that were first put on sale at the lodges banquet on April 5, 2009. There is also a charter member flap, restricted 2 per person to all those brothers who paid their 2009 dues before January 1st. This charter member flap is being distributed by mail.


There has been some controversy in the collector community over which flap or flaps is to be considered this lodges First Flap. The original plan was for the charter member flaps to be sent to the qualifying membership before the lodge banquet and lodge considers this to be their first flap. However, reports indicate that did not happen and that flaps were not mailed until after the banquet. Thus a controversy has arisen over what the lodge considers to be their one true First Flap.


As some collectors know, first flap? are avidly collected. Flaps with the first flap moniker frequently sell or trade better than other flaps from the same of similar vintage or scarcity. Resellers of the lodge’s patches would probably see their profits reduced if the more evenly distributed charter member flap is not the first flap. Emotions also run high because the lodge has already dictated how they want their patches regarded, even if the actual events do not agree.


Sam Everett, a lodge adviser for Pocumtuc lodge expressed his opinion in an email that was forwarded to by an acquaintance in the lodge. It is relevant enough to the issue at hand, that I share it here without his express prior permission:


The official first Pocumtuc Flap (F1 (sic) in collector speak) is the charter member flap. The first charter member flap was issued to (name of local collector deleted) on 4/2 for his collection. It was and is the first flap issued from the lodge therefore F1.


Make sense? If so, that’s our story we’re sticking to it please pass the word on the web as appropriate. if NOT, lets discuss or submit an option. The fact is, that we sold flaps at the banquet does not make them the first issued. Harris clearly was showing the charter flap so clearly he had that first?


That is a rather interesting opinion from a lodge adviser. For someone who doesn’t collect patches and has a negative opinion of those who do, I have to wonder why he is so passionate about this. Of course, I disagree. What was sold ie. issued ? first is the key point. Does one flap out the back door to a local collector mean it was issued? Presumably this collector was given all four flaps for his display, thus not resolving the matter the way this lodge adviser clearly wants.


Roy Wetherbee, New England Blue Book editor, addressed these issues and made this response:


A 2/L (ed.: two per life) restricted charter member flap will always be a 2/L restricted charter member flap, regardless of any arbitrary and external catalog system of numbering. No one can tell the lodge what to call their own flaps – they’re free to call them whatever they wish.


A catalog system of numbering is only of use to collectors, after all, and the definition of first is of importance mainly to first issue collectors. The problem lies in the definition of issue? (and what circumstances constitute issue?), which is the real issue at the center of discussions currently circulating on the web and elsewhere.


Consider the case of Joe Arrowman, a plain old ordinary lodge member (and not a friend of the advisors), who could not get the charter member flap (or any of the flaps) before the banquet (4/5/2009). That same lodge member could not get the charter member flap AT the banquet, although the OBV flaps were readily available. Getting home that night he could sew one of those flaps on his uniform, yet even now he STILL does not have the charter member flap. Clearly it will be the fourth flap in hand for 99.75% of lodge members.


Does ?lodge issue? mean the whole lodge, or just 0.25% of it? The jury is still out on this question. Hardly a storm as Sam puts it, but a necessary discussion that needs to be had.


Opinions aside, Clearly there was ? intent? though it seems that plans failed during execution. Would have saved postage to hand them out at the banquet (keeping appropriate records, of course), and might have increased attendance as well.


As to which one gets the (FF) designation, it appears that All 4 of them do. Designed at the same time, ordered at the same time, manufactured at the same time, received at the same time, and (assuming Harris didn’t get stiffed on an OBV set) issued at the same time?


Clearly the lodge had it within its power to issue the charter member flaps before the OBV flaps were sold. For whatever reason they did not do so. Our purpose is to record what happened, not what folks intended to happen. We try to record the truth in an unbiased way, not encumbered by emotions or personal preferences. I would have listed only the OBV flaps as first flaps but since Roy wants to accord that status to all four, I will abide by that wish. There is precedent for a lodge having more than one first flap so this isn’t all that unusual.


I have also heard from second hand sources that some of the charter flaps were sent out before the banquet. I consider that an unverified rumor.


It doesn’t mean that much, but I will note that three different people have already sent me scans of the OBV flaps. These three are also being offered for sale on eBay at this time. However, no one has sent scans of the charter member flap and none are appearing for sale online.


A Note on Quantities: It is reported there are 810 of the charter member, 410 ORD, 405 BRO, and 305 VIG flaps made.


A Note on Lodge Numbers: Neither the BSA nor the OA assign lodge numbers anymore. As such Pocumtuc lodge has no official number. I have used 83, the lower number of the two most recent predecessor lodges, only for the convenience of collectors. That is why you’ll see it written in parentheses like this, (83), when a number is used on this site. That is not official: I could have just as easily decided to call it ?1001″, ?pi? or ?Bob?. Perhaps in the future the number will not be of use and the lodge will be referred to by collectors as simply Pocumtuc.


What do you guys think should be the first flap/s. Also a Question I was wondering is why would a new lodge also out the box create an OBV set? With the request for no OBV sets asked by national. And how were they made if all designs are supposed to be Approved before creation. Is some one asleep at the wheel?




At the present time we have no PATCH GOD (Blue Book Editor) to decree what will be the First Flap. So all of this conversation is moot. Even in the past when there was a PATCH GOD irreversible errors were made determining which was the first flap. With no PATCH GOD today anyone can determine for them self which one they want to be the first flap for their collection. If and when a new PATCH GOD is coronated He or She can then hold Court and Decree the First Flap. At that time we can then all argue that the wrong patch was embrased.

By BigJim on April 11th, 2009 at 12:51 am

Jerry Jerry Jerry…. Hahaha
These include Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil flaps that were first put on sale at the lodge?s banquet on April 5, 2009. wasnt that bained???

I thought we all decided long ago I was patch god haha jk!!!!


By redneck_patch_trader on April 12th, 2009 at 6:25 am

First flap status should be given to the flap that all members were allowed to obtain at the time of issue. By this thinking, the Ordeal flap should be given “First Flap” status. Not all members of the lodge were Brotherhood, or Vigil, and therefore could not obtain these flaps, but all members could obtain the Ordeal flap. Obviously the “Charter Member” flap was not available at the time the others were issued, and not available to all members, so there can be no rational arguement for designating it as the first flap. Just my two cents worth, but I hope it is considered.

By Solohike13 on February 15th, 2014 at 11:47 pm

I know this is an old post but I wanted to give out my thoughts. First off there is nor has there ever been something that says a member of Pocumtuc lodge can not buy any of the three colored flaps. The only thing that was asked was that if you buy one that you wait to wear it till you are of that honor, that is not to say that someone would force you to not wear it. Technically I believe all four of the patches were in Pocumtuc’s hands at the same time it was just decided to mail the charter flaps as to not make mistakes at the banquet.
I would argue that at the time of the charter it was advertised that they would be doing charter member flaps and that if you got the dues in by the date you would receive it. Technically I would think that this is a presale of patches and that at the snap shot of 2009 that it would have been the first flap open to buy for members who were registering in the lodge.
The OBV set, charter flap and even the design were decided by the youth of the lodge who were on the steering committee along with the totem and the no number of the lodge. If you wanted to know why they decided what they did then you would need to track down all six of them and ask them.

By PFTP on January 8th, 2015 at 9:25 pm

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