Cemetery Symbols of the I.O.O.F.


Grave of Elijah H. Smith, Gamble Cemetery

Grave of Isaac L. Carriger, Butler Ford Cemetery
    The symbol of a three link chain, with or without the letters FLT, found on a gravemarker signify membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal and benevolent organization dating back to the 1700's in England. The Order was established in America in the early 19th century. The Odd Fellows are also known as the "Three Link Fraternity." The three links of the chain represent Friendship, Love, and Truth (FLT). The Mandate of the Order is to: Visit the sick, Relieve the distressed, Educate the Orphan, and Bury the Dead.
    The female branch of the Order is the Rebekah Lodge. The ceremony and lectures of the Rebekah Degree are based upon the characters of notable women in Biblical history. As stated in the Degree ceremony, the general duties of the Rebekahs are: “To live peaceably, to do good unto all, as we have opportunity, and especially to obey the Golden Rule, ‘Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto them". Symbols of the Rebekahs include the dove, the beehive, the moon & seven stars, and the lily.

 


Currier & Ives print, symbols of the Odd Fellows