Daughters of America WWI Service Flag


     The Daughters of America organization was formed in 1891 as an auxiliary to the Jr. Order of United American Mechanics.  Its first charter, issued in Allegheny County PA, was in the name of The National Council Daughters of America. Although intended as an auxiliary organization, it did not receive recognition from the male order until 1926. 

     In 1923 there were 1,000 local Councils with slightly more than 115,000 members in 32 states. By 1930, the organization reported having over 160,000 members in 33 states. Its membership numbers were reduced to about 19,000 in 26 states by 1978.

     Originally, the order was open to American women over 16, as well as members of the JOUAM. Later, in a pamphlet described as "recent" in 1979, the order was described as open to "PATRIOTIC, MALE AND FEMALE CITIZENS OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER, WHO BELIEVE IN A SUPREME BEING AS THE CREATOR AND PRESERVER” of the Universe and who favor the upholding the American Public School System and the reading of the Holy Bible in the schools thereof, must be opposed to the union of Church and State; must be literate and capable of giving all the secret signs and words of the Order, or of explaining them if unable to give them by reason of some physical misfortune or defect."

     This WW1 Daughters of America Service Flag was found in an Oddfellows lodge in Covington, Ky. From the late 1800’s up to the late 1920’s the Daughters of Americas shared the building with the local Oddfellows chapter. Sometime in the 1920’s, a fire damaged much of the building interior and since then, the residence was boarded up. It was not until 2008 that a local merchant purchased the contents of the building. When it was unlocked for the first time, this D of A Service Flag was discovered hanging in a room on the 2nd floor. Because of the fire, small areas of the flag have damage indicated by the discoloration and small burn holes.