A Pictorial Catalog of
Commemorative Flagholders & Plaques
of Organizations & Military
Jr. Order of United American Mechanics
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Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia

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

Jr. Order of United American Mechanics

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Related and similar organizations - See Also More JOUAM Memorabilia
Order of United American Mechanics Daughters of America Daughters of Liberty Sons & Daughters of Liberty Patriotic Order, Sons of Liberty

 The Jr, OAUM marker is fairly frequently found in this part of New York State. It was founded in Philadelphia in 1853 as a junior section of the Order of United American Mechanics. It became an independent secret society by 1885 with its fundamental purpose directed at keeping undesirable foreigners out of the country. It considered German, Irish and Roman Catholic persons as among those undesirables and it concentrated its rituals on religious "principals." At the point of its 1885 separation from the OUAM, the Jr. in its name no longer signified age and Mechanics had nothing to do with members' occupations.

Over time, JOUAM changed its ideology and requirements so that Jews, non-whites, and Roman Catholics could join, and women were also accepted as members. It is hard to understand why groups that were formerly targeted by this organization would want to join it.

Over more time it became primarily a legal reserve, fraternal  life insurance society. It also eventually absorbed its parent UAM. In 1900 the order had 200,000 members and that was reduced to 8,500 by 1975.

Its ideology is the same as the Daughters of America which is a sister organization. See DOA for that listing.

(Source: Greenwood Encyclopedia of .... Fraternal Organizations, Alvin J. Schmidt, Greenwood Press, 1980, pp 171-172)

Some of the insignia on the JOUAM flagholder are reminiscent of the Masonic symbols, but it is not a related organization. The following note is from the Masonic webmaster/librarian in response to my question about the insignia.
Dear Ms. Tice,
    Thank you for writing.  The engraving you describe belongs to the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, founded in 1853.  Its purpose was to
promote the reading of the Bible while preventing sectarian influences in public schools.  The OUAM admitted both men and women as members.  They
"borrowed" the square and compasses from Freemasonry, but added the arm and hammer to the center.  You may want to contact the New York Public Library, as I believe they have some documents from the Order.

Sincerely, Thomas M. Savini

This is an example of a flagholder that includes the
members name. Dunmore (PA) is the Council
The above example is a plain version of the marker
This badly rusted example is included to help you see
what remains after damage and to help you to identify
difficult or illegible flagholders. 
This example is for Council No. 179 in New York State
Sayre (PA) Council No. 210

Introduction on Flagholder Section Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia Obtaining Present Day Flagholders

Published On Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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