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Our History

First Sash (Black)

Legend of the Black Sash

One of the enduring mysteries of the early days of the Wimachtendienk is the question of what the very first sashes of our Order looked like. There are two differing written accounts, both from extremely reliable eyewitnesses that were present at the beginning in 1915. Harry Yoder, the first guide and charter member of the Order, wrote circa 1921,

In the early days of the Order the members wore a black sash with a white stripe running lengthwise instead of the white band with the red arrow.

George Chapman’s account is slightly different. Chapman, also a 1915 Charter Member of Wimachtendienk and first youth leader had a different memory. His account in the unpublished work The Arrow and the Vigil (1953) states,

As has been previously mentioned, the officers of Wimachtendienk wore black robes for the induction ceremony. Members wore a black sash with a white arrow on it, very similar to the sash worn today except for the color.

There are no other written accounts of the first sash. Neither founder, nor any other charter member or adult support staff is known to have described the original sash. The 1916 Constitution is also silent on the construction of the sash. There are no known physical examples of a 1915 sash. We likely will never know which account is most accurate and the exact first sash will likely remain a mystery of the Order.