May 5, 2011

Please help with research about Kecoughtan flap design change

Since 1996 I've wanted to research and write an article about a controversial event in the history of Kecoughtan Lodge, namely the retirement of the Lodge's original flap patch design with confederate flags by the Peninsula Council Scout Executive in 1988. In the past I've avoided the topic because it stirs up strong feelings and I was concerned about reigniting long dormant embers of divisiveness.

But the change in flap design is one of the most frequently asked questions I encounter. Even when I was a young Arrowman in the lodge in the early 70's there were rumors that "national wants us to get rid of the confederate flags" although it was never considered or discussed at any Executive Committee meeting I attended.

As our nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War it seems now is an appropriate time to consider this stormy part of the Lodge's history and document it appropriately.

Even if this happened long after or before you belonged to Kecoughtan Lodge I hope you will help.

Here's what I am seeking:

1 - History of the original flap design. From Alex Wiatt's 40th anniversary booklet I know it was designed by Eddie Canada of Troop 40 in 1952. Any additional details would be appreciated!

2 - Any reports of the design being considered controversial or efforts to change it over the years prior to 1988.

3 - Information about the decision of the Scout Executive in 1988 to "retire" the design and reaction of the Lodge Executive Committee and the membership at large. Was the new design embraced ? Did the membership continue to wear the prior design? Who designed the replacement flap and was there any Lodge input?

4 - Did a schism develop in the lodge or between the council and the lodge as a result of the change?

5 - How could it have been handled better? There are lessons to be learned by Arrowmen today from this event.

6 - Can you help me get in contact with the members of the 1988 Executive Committee of the lodge and their advisors for their input? They are listed in the April, 1988 Kryer.

Your memories are vital to accurate history being recorded. If you are not comfortable being quoted by name I am happy to cite the information anonymously and will keep your name in confidence. Just let me know.

Many thanks in advance for your help with this effort.

Glenn Chase

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