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Masonic History

Rainbow For Girls

An organization planned to sow the seeds of love, law, religion, patriotism, and service in the hearts of the girlhood of America for harvest in the coming years. These sentiments prompted a Brother, the Rev. William Mark Sexson, McAlester, Oklahoma, then the Grand Chaplain of his State, to write the ritual and lay the foundations of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls.

The first exemplification of the ritual wee on April 6, 1922, when a class of more than seventy-five girls was initiated. In the four following years the Order was extended to thirty-one States of the Union and grew to a membership of forty thousand The Order of the Rainbow is not Freemasonry nor is it Eastern Star, but it is very dear to each one off these fraternities.

Local Lodges or Bodies are called Assemblies, and before an Assembly can be instituted it must be sponsored by a Masonic or an Eastern Star organization that will promise to look after its welfare. Its members, girls from 13 to 18, must be children of Masonic or Eastern Star families, or the friends and chums of such children. This is the only relationship it has to Freemasonry though it has no secrets from Freemasons or Stars and they are free to attend the meetings of any Assembly.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

International Order of the Rainbow for Girls

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a junior organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20, who are from Masonic, Eastern Star and Amaranth homes, as well as the friends of members of Rainbow girls. Its purpose is to raise self-esteem and build character in its members. It accomplishes this by teaching charity, hope, and service through their work and involvement with their annual local and Grand (state or country) service projects.

On the 6th of April 1922, the degrees of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls were first exemplified. It was here that a class of 171 girls in the auditorium of the Scottish Rite Temple in McAlester, Oklahoma, would become the first members. W. Mark Sexson, a 33rd degree Mason, wrote these degrees.

Principles and lessons taught:

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls emphasizes the following:

  • Effective Leadership
  • Church Membership and active Participation in the church of your choice
  • Patriotism
  • Cooperation with Equals
  • Love of Home
  • Loyalty to Family
  • Service to Humanity
  • Seven stations, strategically placed in the shape of a bow represent the Seven Colors of the Rainbow. Each station is represented by a color, and each color teaches one of the seven lessons of Rainbow. The stations and lessons of the Rainbow are as follows:

Red is the first color station and represents Love. It emphasizes the importance of love of home and family.

Orange is the second color station and represents Religion. It emphasizes the importance of membership and active participation in the church of your choice.

Yellow is the third color station and represents Nature. It emphasizes the importance of spending time in the out-of-doors.

Green is the fourth color station and represents Immortality. It emphasizes that even though our body dies, our souls live on forever.

Blue is the fifth color station and represents Fidelity. It emphasizes the importance of loyalty to the Order and to the Rainbow Girl's family and friends.

Indigo is the sixth color station and represents Patriotism. It emphasizes the importance of respecting the laws of our country and its flag.

Violet is the seventh color station and represents Service. Service is the foundation of Rainbow and emphasizes the importance of providing unselfish acts of service to our home, community and sponsoring orders of Rainbow.

Membership requirements:

The girl represents that she:

Freely offers herself as a candidate for the degrees in the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls; Has a favorable impression of the Order and if elected to membership therein promises strict obedience to the Supreme Assembly, its Constitution and Statutes, and cheerful compliance to the By-Laws, Rules, and Regulations of the Assembly to whom she makes the petition.

She is of good moral character.

She is a believer in the one true and living God.

She is an unmarried girl between the ages of 11 and 20.

She is either the daughter or granddaughter of a Master Mason or a friend of a Rainbow Girl.

She has never petitioned or been rejected for the degrees in any Rainbow Assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.

She is recommended by two Rainbow girls and be sponsored by either a Master Mason, member of the Order of the Eastern Star, member of the Order of the Amaranth, or a majority Rainbow Girl. This adult will also sign her petition.

At the age of 20, or upon marriage, which ever occurs first, girls who are members in good standing are eligible for Majority Membership.

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