Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
A Pictorial Catalog of
Commemorative Flagholders & Plaques
 of Organizations & Military
Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice Home Page
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Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia

Commemorative Plaques & Flagholders
 of Military and Organizations
as Photographed by Joyce M. Tice 

B.P.O.E.
Beneveolent and Protective Order of Elks

Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice How to Use This Site Contact Joyce Flagholder Table of Contents
The origin of the Elks was November 1867 at an almshouse in New York City. Their primary activity initially was merrymaking and drinking. They originally and briefly called themselves the Jolly Corks for a game they played where the loser had to buy the drinks for all. By February 1868 they had resolved to become a benevolent organization and adopted their first constitution in March 1868 as Elks. Early on their rituals followed Masonic influence but were later simplified. They promote patriotic and charitable activities. The elks is a male only organization and until prohibited by law, also barred blacks and other non-whites. In 1976, under legal pressure, they removed the whites only clause to their regulations with a proviso to reinstate it if it ever becomes legal again.  Since membership in any lodge can be blocked by blackballing by members, non-whites are still easily excluded. The resource I am using was written in the late 1970s. so we can only hope that this information is outdated. While promotion of American ideals is a goal, it is apparently selective. Belief in God is a requirement of this organization and its rituals are religious in tone. (See Updated Present Day Information at Bottom of Page)

Famous past member include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Barry Goldwater, Richard Daley.  (Source: Greenwood Encyclopedia of .... Fraternal Organizations, Alvin J. Schmidt, Greenwood Press, 1980, pp 100-105.)
 


This Memorial at Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira NY
was erected by B.P.O.E. 62 in 1935.
Introduction on Flagholder Section Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia Obtaining Present Day Flagholders

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: JoyceTice@aol.com

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Subj:  Re. B.P.O.E. Beneveolent and Protective Order of Elks
Date:  1/27/2002 1:07:05 PM Eastern Standard Time
From:  Ritabeeta1
To:  JoyceTice

The records concerning the BPOE have been changed.

Over the years the membership has become more inclusive, open to anyone including women. Today's guidelines for membership are that the candidate be invited to join, be a citizen of the United States, and believe in God.  Elks Lodges are now in 2,200 communities and have a membership of 1.3 million Americans. Some known facts that I feel deserveto be regonized are:

World War I -
The Elks built a 700-bed Reconstruction Hospital and gave it to the War Department in 1918. This was the first of what was to become the VA medical centers.
The Elks made 40,000 rehabilitation, vocational, and educational loans to disabled veterans  ineligible for government help or awaiting approval of their applications. This service was so effective that the government followed the Orderís example and established a revolving fund that was the precursor to the GI Bill.
Raised $1.3 million for  Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island restorations. Donated  an average of  $1 per member for the World War II Memorial, being built on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Were the original organization to Honor Flag day on June 14,1907 in their by laws, before it became national day in June 14, 1947.
Support Americanism, various Youth Service Activies throughout USA, and so much more.  Visit Click here: BPO Elks Online

Eternally Yours,
BPOE Member,
Rita Dean