10. Phi Beta Delta: Flying the Flag

Sometime chapters need to think imaginatively about their challenges. A think session can be quite productive. Take the question of flags and banners.

Phi Beta Delta has a banner and a flag. What is the difference? Well, now there isn't any and you can use the flag as a banner, but at one time the society had a flannel-like banner, which could be affixed to a table or mounted behind a table or rostrum. It was very heavy, so taking it to meetings or trying to get it to stay on a wall was a considerable challenge, not to mention the cost. Washing it was a real dilemma.

More recently, the society has a fine combined flag and banner made of silk or rayon, which can double for either purpose. You can pin it behind a table or on the front of a table, or have it on a pole. The brilliant red of the official colors is the background for the shield, rendered in our familiar gold. If a chapter wishes they can have their name on the flag, although the international headquarters displays one with simply the shield. Now folks can have a flag or a banner, and it's easy to transport.

There is a simple moral to the story, which is that sometimes we find there are ready answers to chapter problems that not only resolve our frustrations but are a way clear to new opportunities. If our chapter looks around campus, there will be -- for example -- events and activities that would welcome a co-sponsor. Perhaps another group has a scholarship event that has become a little tired and would benefit from having your group as well as the other to help out. Possibly a department has a lecture series but attendance has not been what it could be. Phi Beta Delta chapters frequently are co-sponsors, and indeed very welcome ones. One might say that the banner and flag are co-sponsors of Phi Beta Delta!!

As for the flag and its use, well a flag has to be of a fabric that can catch the wind. Wet blankets don't make good flags. Is your chapter catching the wind? Show chapter enthusiasm. These days as Phi Beta Delta expands, we are flying the flag. And flying the flag is a useful phrase because it is true that to be successful your chapter has to let people know that it is active. Don't keep your flag in a drawer but get a standard for it and have it showing in your department office or even in the foyer of your college president's office. It's beautiful and something you can be proud to display, and it shows that you are a chapter that is keeping the flag flying.

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