Montezuma No. 50
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Patriarchs Militant or Canton
A regal crown, with crossed crook and sword, and the Three Links, with the left link being filled with scarlet enamel, the center link with white and the right link with purple, is the regulation lapel badge always to be worn by Chevaliers. The Army of the Crown is so termed for the reason that the Crown is the symbol of rank; the Sword, of justice; the Shepherd’s Crook, of peace; and the Three Links, the bond of our fraternity. The decoration is to be a constant incentive to chivalric deeds.
The Degree Of Universal Justice
The Canton is a uniformed branch of the Order with a military rank structure. The final step in Odd Fellowship is to be mustered in as a recruit in the Patriarchs Militant Branch of the Order. The motto of the Patriarchs Militant, justitia universalis (universal justice), and the battle cry of action, pax aut bellum, (peace or war), are very appropriately blended as characteristics of many throughout history, heralded as models of human perfection in upright morals, lofty principles, soldiery behavior and chivalrous bearing. Hence the names Chevalier and Lady (a patent of nobility), applied to individual members of this branch of the Order, conveys in brief, an idea of the honorable military teachings thereof. As the motto indicates, this degree is based upon the principle of universal justice and the doctrine of rights, advocated by peaceful methods, but if necessary, defended with exercise of force. It is purely military in its character, organized for purposes of display, and is admirably fulfilling its mission. One must retain their membership and remain in good standing within both the subordinate lodge and Encampment while a member of the Patriarchs Militant.
Why Does Canton Wear A Military Uniform?
By uniform is meant the regimentals worn by the Chevaliers belonging to the Patriarchs Militant or Canton Branch of Odd Fellowship. The question is best answered by the simple statement, "That it is the regalia of the Branch". The Odd Fellows are the only Fraternal Order with a Military Branch and a Uniform that is recognized and approved by the Department of Defense.
Pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
The first Sunday of May of each year has been designated for the annual Odd Fellow Pilgrimage, as granted by the Department of the Army, which has charge of Arlington National Cemetery. Odd Fellows are the only Fraternal Order afforded this privilege. The climax of the Pilgrimage is the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Patriarchs Militant, both Chevaliers and Ladies, form on the steps leading to the Hall of Trophies. Those placing wreaths descend from the Hall of Trophies, and as their names and titles are announced, walk slowly forward and deposit their wreaths. This is the highest honor of our Order!