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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Shrine Outlaws Confederate Battle Flag

The Shrine has outlawed the Confederate battle flag in its parades and events:


SHRINERS INTERNATIONAL
Special Order No. 4
Series 2015-2016
To the Potentates, Officers and Members of Shriners International, fraternal greetings: Attention has been drawn to the political debate over the Confederate Battle Flag in the wake of the recent incident in Charleston, SC. As a result, in my opinion, as Imperial Potentate, I believe it is in the best interest of the Order and the Nobility that no temple, unit, club or member of Shriners International shall display in any form the Confederate Battle Flag or any image that reasonably can be construed as a reference to the Confederate Battle Flag.
Under the circumstances, it is my opinion, as the Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, that the following order with respect to the Potentates, Officers and Members of Shriners International should be, and hereby is issued.
ORDER
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by § 206.5(a) (1) and (5) of the bylaws of Shriners International, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG PROHIBITION
No Noble (in his capacity as a member of Shriners International) or club, unit, organization of Nobles or affiliated or appendant organizations of Shriners International, shall display any Confederate Battle Flag or any image that reasonably can be construed as a reference to the Confederate Battle Flag in Shrine or Civic Parades, Temple activities or in Shrine or non-Shrine public appearances.
No Noble (in his capacity as a member of Shriners International) or club, unit, organization of Nobles or affiliated or appendant organizations of Shriners International, shall participate in non-Shrine public appearances in which a Confederate Battle Flag or any image that reasonably can be construed as a reference to the Confederate Battle Flag is expected to be displayed by the organizer, promoter or by those in control of the premises or facility of the non-Shrine event.
Dated this 10th day of August, 2015
Jerry G. Gantt, Imperial Potentate
ATTEST: Jack H. Jones, Imperial Recorder

31 comments:

  1. But apparently the Jesters are OK.....

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    1. Hey Bill. Sounds like some ROJ envy going on. You need not worry cause you'll never be one.

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  2. I suppose this effectively bans all Shriner activity in Mississippi given that their State flag contains a representation of the Confederate Battle Flag.

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  3. It is very sad that even our organization has caved to the media for something that if they truly knew history would see the flag is not the issue.

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  4. Prohibiting the association with an emblem which represents not only an armed rebellion against the United States, but also has been used as a tool of intimidation and racial fear-mongering for decades is a sensible act. It is a symbol of heritage AND hate. That heritage, however, is itself sordid and ugly. The fact that this issue has recently garnered media is irrelevant. This prohibition should have been enacted years ago.

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    1. Are you joking? The CSA is somehow responsible, during its 4 years of existence, for slavery on the whole? Ignorance astounds me. Let's outlaw public flying of West African countries that were responsible for their people going inland and knocking people over the head and dragging them to the coast and trading them into slavery for rum, guns and cotton. Do you not realize that the US flag is also a Rebel flag? George Washington was technically guilty of being a traitor. Nobody is removing his statues or markers. Slavery existed for hundreds of years before the USA, about 80 years in the USA, but the Confederacy gets all the blame. What a joke. You are a joke. I will be flying whatever flag I want and if The Shrine, Freemasons, or you try to forbid me, I will fly it that much higher and for a longer period of time. What self respecting American allows himself to be decreed to by a political ideaology?

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  5. Bro. Shean, Ill. Bro. Albert Pike was a Confederate General. Many other Masons were Confederate Soldiers. Should we ban recognition of them as well? Should we ban any reference to Masonic history if it was associated with the Confederacy?

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  6. What about all those Islamic symbols?
    The scimitar...what's that for?

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  7. I joined the Shrine in the early 1970s and will be demitting this week. The Imperial Potentate can take his political correctness and stuff it up his ass.


    Bill Kenny.

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    1. I agree. Some things run deeper than current political naïveté.

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  8. Since when can they tell me what to do when I'm not in a Fez and no shrine emblems on my clothing. That's the same as them telling me I can't own a gun. Team up brothers!!! I started a club besides my local shrine club. It was started as a joke. Us and another club about 70 miles down the road met at different parades and became friends. We jokingly named the club just for giggles. All we do is get together and cook out and have some barley pops and visit. We have 3 rules only.
    #1 prayer before and after each visit
    #2 alcohol must be readily available before we begin.
    #3 the charter members must ask you to join. Only the east and west president can OK a new member. Never more than 50 members. Who also have NO VOTING rights.

    THAT'S ALL NOTHING ELSE. MAYBE WE NEED TO EXPAND OUR CONCERNS.

    ANY SHRINER WHO IS UPSET AS US MOUNTAIN BOYS FROM N.C. CONTACT ME.
    If your going to SASA in Myrtle Beach, I'm with the oasis 500 racing team. White hair and a beard. Ask for the Stumpwater president. I'm staying at the Springmaid beach resort. Or look me up in the NC Shriner members book . look in 2013-2014 president Mountaineer Shrine Club.Spruce Pine and Bakersville NC. Give me a call. No way will we honor that command.

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    1. I gather you choose to ignore done of the very specific wording:
      "No Noble (in his capacity as a member of Shriners International)"

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    2. I cannot forsee any reason that this club isn't problem.

      Readily available alcohol second only to prayer along with a dictatorial absolute power of two members? Can't miss.

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  9. I surely wish I were a member so I could tell you cowardly idiots to kiss my ass and resign.
    There will be no more donations or support from me or mine.
    Unbelievable!

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  10. I have been avoiding the Shrine for my entire Masonic career. This makes me want to sign up tomorrow!

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  11. I'm a bit more troubled by the Shrines comfort level in being a shameless and overt parody of Islam.

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  12. As it says: No Noble (in his capacity as a member of Shriners International)
    It says nothing about in your own life, or what you do outside the Shrine. You can display the flag- just not "while in uniform"

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    1. This would also mean that if an Emblem of The Shrine was on your car, one couldn't have a Confederate symbol on their car. It isn't as benign of an edict as you suggest.

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  13. The Confederate flag is a symbol of a hateful heritage to many. I understand that it has been appropriated by some as a means of southern pride, but I do wonder if those who feel that way have ever taken the time to think about why some (like myself) feel insulted by it. I am black man and a Prince Hall Mason and Shriner who was born in New Jersey so perhaps I don't understand. I do have four grandparents though who are all from the American south (two from southern Alabama, one from North Carolina and one from Virginia). They are all lifelong southerners yet you'll never see them waving this flag and my simple quesiton is "why not?". Is it because they are ignorant of its history?? Hardly!! It is because they lived a lot of that history in their youth as their parents and grandparents did before them.

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    1. While it is true that this flag has been used by hate groups in the past, it certainly is not borne of hate. Google some images of the KKK marching in Washington DC. They are all carrying USA flags. Do we ban that flag? This is a First Amendment issue but no self respecting Southerner will ever seek approval to fly it. People can whine and whine about their sensitivities until the cows come home, it won't change a thing. This is an American thing. It is a part of our history and there is even a legal argument to be made about the legality of secession per the law in 1861. I can find no law that would have made it illegal...

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  14. Way to go Shrine - I'm very proud of the Nobles for this move. The slave-holder's traitorous battle flag has no place ANYWHERE among Masons.
    If we "truly knew history" this would have be done a long time ago.

    For a good run-down of historical facts see this video by a West Point Colonel: Was the Civil War About Slavery?

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    1. If you truly knew our history, you'd know that our imposed Constitution expressly permits freedom of expression. First Amendment...

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  15. Rich Ragland- The order does state that even in non-shine events which could easily cause contentions between brothers who feel differently about this subject.

    No Noble (in his capacity as a member of Shriners International) or club, unit, organization of Nobles or affiliated or appendant organizations of Shriners International, shall participate in non-Shrine public appearances in which a Confederate Battle Flag or any image that reasonably can be construed as a reference to the Confederate Battle Flag is expected to be displayed by the organizer, promoter or by those in control of the premises or facility of the non-Shrine event.

    I will be staying away from the Shrine because of this. We as masons are not allowed speak of politics while in a tiled lodge, then why should the Imperial Potentate regulate and demand no flying of the flag because of political reasons.

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  16. So when the next Imperial potentate is installed in his office and has a personal grief will he also write an executive order demanding all Nobles to comply to tell me what I can and cannot do when and where is more in the lines of a dictatorship instead of putting it to a vote of the Shrines and the Nobles or simply stating that no noble can wear thier Shriners regalia at any activity that will display the Confederate battle flag… unless this order is rescinded or modified I cannot in good faith renew my membership in the shrine

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  17. Wow,

    Some good comments for and against the Imperial Potentate's ruling. And a few funny ones. Typically, long time Shriners (twenty or more years) tend not to be shy or bashful men.☺

    Personally, I support the decision of the Imperial Potentate and see it as an example of strong leadership. A tough decision had to be made and he made it! Of course his decision will upset some Nobles or possible candidates.

    But Nobles or possible candidates, before you leave the Shrine or no longer consider membership, consider yourself as Imperial Potentate. What would your ruling be? Would you decide in interest of the Nobility as an International Organization or would your decision be based on your own limited beliefs and selfish desires? Would you consider the future of the hundreds of children helped by the Nobility? Would the Masonic principals (Brotherly love, relief, and truth) the Shrine is founded upon aid you in your decision?

    Remember Nobles, despite it's mythical origin, the Shrine
    is 100% American made. It was 100% Not imported and is an organization all Americans may be proud of and praise.

    The decision of the Imperial Potentate was not at all surprising to an old timer like me. After all, the Shrine is a highly SOCIAL ORGANIZATION and this is one of the main reasons you are not to wear (applies to members of Shriners International) your Fez at any place you would be embarrassed to take your mother. Think about that.☺

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    1. The Confederacy was 100% American made too. The US flag, the CS flag and my beloved Texas flag are ALL Rebel flags. Rebellion is a very American right. We obtain that right at birth. Whenever we can't rely on our First Amendment, we have our Second Amendment to re-establish our lost right.

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  18. Dear Thomas Jefferson, why did the Potenate have to rule one way or the other about the Confederate battle flag? Did all of a sudden he feel that it wasn't proper? No, I think he is caving to political correctness. That flag has been around for over a 150 years with many of the confederate soldiers and officers being masons. This is an insult to them and all masons who have confederate ancestors. I wonder if he knows that many years ago confederate soldiers were deemed American soldiers by an act of Congress to be afforded the same status as their Union counterparts. If they were traitors then why were none of them tried for treason? It's because at the time secession was not illegal. Look at many of the old photographs of former confederate soldiers at their reunions, you'll find that the Stars and Stripes displayed right along with the confederate battle flag thus signifying that they accepted that they were back in the Union and were proud Americans but also proud of their service as confederate soldiers. Many young men of the south have given their life for the U.S.A in many wars since the War Between The States. General Robert E. Lee told the southern soldiers after his surrender to be good citizens and to be proud of their service and obey the civil authorities. Even General Grant told his soldiers at the Appomattox surrender not to fire any salutes out of respect for their fellow southerners as he stated . "They are our countrymen again". If the liberals would quit peeling the scab off of this sore maybe it would heal and everyine would respect each other a little more. But no that doesn't fit the liberal agenda of divide and conquer, to keep old wounds from healing. It's not every southerners fault that the confederate battle flag has been hijacked and used for racist reasons. Oh and by the way the KKK originally used the Stars and Stripes as their flag but nobody mentions that.

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    1. Well said! You are my Countryman...

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  19. Did this get resolved? I saw a survey on change.org that referenced this issue and it is listed as "victory." I would like to know as it affects some other things. thank you, Mark Holley (not a mason but a big fan)

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    1. https://www.change.org/p/imperial-potentate-jerry-g-gantt-shriners-don-t-dishonor-confederate-veterans-by-banning-their-flag

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