Shared Items From Around The Web – December 28, 2008


F or S? What’s in a Letter?

basicsYears ago in the dim ages…of collecting,  in the last millennium, letter conventions were established to allow collectors to talk about patches through the mail or in other non-face-to-face scenarios.

A – Arrowhead Shaped Patch

J – Jacket Patch a larger patch of varying shapes to be worn on a jacket

R – Round Patch, typically 4 inches in diameter or less.

X – Odd Shaped Patch, any shape not described above.

P – A Blue Book addition for any patch which looks like a wedge of pie, typically for triangular patches worn on neckerchief.

F – Flap shaped patch

That was fine when all of the patches were twill flaps and simple designs usually the totem of the lodge were used with perhaps the lodge name or number and not much else.

Twill means that you can see the base material that the patch is made from, it is not completely covered with embroidery.

Then these new-fangled patches started appearing, they were flap shaped, but they were full of embroidery, they had many colors, ooohh pretty.

Well what was a self respecting collector to do?

I can’t have my shiny new solid flap associated with those old plain twill flaps. That will never do.

A problem that has plagued collectors since the early days arose.  Everyone was used to calling any flap shaped patch an “F” issue.  They did not want to come up with two new designations for Flaps,and get rid of the perfectly good letter F.

So the S designation was created.

S – a Solid or Fully Embroidered Flap Shaped Patch

and the F Designation became

F- a partially embroidered flap shaped patch.

To add a bit of confusion to the issue, in the 1970’s when CSP’s were invented; the Patch Gods of Yore determined that new designations would be used for CSP’s.  They could not have an F designation since they were not Flaps.

So for the CSP Collector a CSP is either:

S – A solid, fully embroidered Council Shoulder Patch (CSP)

T – A partially embroidered CSP were at least some of the base twill can be seen.

Can’t we all just get along?

OA Collectors declared this anathema;

so CSP-shaped OA issues are given X desigantions by OA Collectors and S or T designations by CSP Collectors who looked down their collective noses when an OA Lodge dared to issue CSP-shaped patches.



A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” —Herm Albright (1876-1944)