The Benevolent Order of Scottish Clans

Next to several gravestones in the Hope Cemetery at Barre, Vermont, are small metal markers.  The markers have a shield displaying a rampart lion overlaid on two crossbars and atop another shield with thistle leaves and thistle flowers flanking the top shield.  The letters B. at the top of the marker and O. S. C. at the bottom of the marker are initials that stand for the Benevolent Order of Scottish Clans.

Several of the symbols on the metal marker are significant to the Scots.  The rampart lion is the same heraldic symbol displayed on the royal Banner of Scotland which was flown by Scottish Kings.  The crossbar represents St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, who was martyred at Patras in Achaea in Greece.  St. Andrew believed himself unworthy to die in the same way as Christ and requested he be lashed to a Crux decussate or an x-shaped cross.  The thistle is the National Emblem of Scotland.

The Benevolent Order of Scottish Clans fraternal organization was founded in the late 1800s in St. Louis, Missouri, by James McCash to would provide insurance and mutual aid to its members.  The organization also promoted the Scottish heritage by sponsoring the replaying of Highland games, dancing, picnics featuring Scottish foods, and playing bagpipes.

Fittingly, the order was founded on St. Andrew’s Day.

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