From late 19th century through the 1950s, wearing fraternal jewelry was a popular way to publicly proclaim Modern Woodmen membership.
Rings, watch fobs, buttons, pins, necklaces, cuff links and charms were favorite personal possessions worn by members and representatives as symbols of the society’s strong brotherhood. Carrying and wearing such tokens were daily reminders of the virtues and responsibilities associated with membership. This trend was so popular that manufacturers existed for the sole purpose of making jewelry for Modern Woodmen and other fraternal organizations.
Generally, Modern Woodmen jewelry has specific features that make it recognizable.
- Axe, beetle and wedge – symbolizing industry, power and progress
- Log and maple leaf – signifying protection and brotherhood
- Palm, five stars and a shield – representing peace, light and safety
- Red – signifying life and action
- White – representing innocence and purity of intention
- Green – signifying immortality
Can still be found
Today, Modern Woodmen jewelry is a popular collectible and can be found in many antique shops, museum cases and online auctions.
In a way, the tradition of fraternal jewelry lives on. Modern Woodmen offers special pins when members reach their 25- and 50-year anniversaries. (If you are eligible but have not received an anniversary pin, please contact your chapter activities coordinator.)