General Society Sons of the Revolution
Done at the City of Philadelphia
on the 12th day of February, 1890
and of the Independence of the United States
the one hundred and fourteenth.
Adopted in the City of New York, March 8, 1890.
As amended September 23, 2000, New Orleans, Lousiana.
As amended September 28, 2006, Knoxville, Tennessee
As amended September 26, 2009, Glendale, California
It being evident from a steady decline of a proper celebration of the National holidays of the United States of America, that popular concern in the events and men of the War of the Revolution is gradually declining, and that such lack of interest is attributable, not so much to the lapse of time and the rapid increase of immigration from foreign countries, as to the neglect, on the part of descendants of Revolutionary heroes, to perform their duty in keeping before the public mind the memory of the services of their ancestors and of the times in which they lived; therefore, the Society of the Sons of the Revolution has been instituted to perpetuate the memory of the men, who in the military, naval and civil service of the Colonies and of the Continental Congress by their acts or counsel, achieved the Independence of the Country, and to further the proper celebration of the anniversaries of the birthday of Washington, and of prominent events connected with the War of the Revolution; to collect and secure for preservation the rolls, records, and other documents relating to that period; to inspire the members of the Society with the patriotic spirit of the forefathers; to promote the feeling of friendship among them.
The General Society shall be divided into State Societies which shall meet annually on the day appointed therefor in their respective by-laws, and oftener if found expedient; and at such annual meetings the reasons for the institution of the Society shall be considered, and the best measures of carrying them into effect adopted.
The State Societies, at every annual meeting, shall choose by a majority of the votes present, a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Registrar, Treasurer, Chaplain, and other such officers as may by them respectively be deemed necessary, together with a board of managers consisting of these officers and of such other members, as may be provided by their respective Constitution and By-Laws.
Each State Societies shall cause to be transmitted annually or oftener, to the other State Societies, a circular letter calling attention to whatever may be thought worthy of observation respecting the welfare of the Society or of the general Union of the States, and giving information of the officers chosen for the year; and copies of these letters shall also be transmitted to the General Secretary, to be preserved among the records of the General Society.
The State Societies shall regulate all matters respecting their own affairs, consistent with the general good of the Society; judge of the qualifications of their members, or of those proposed for membership, subject, however, to the provisions of the Constitution; and expel any member who, by conduct unbecoming a gentleman or a man of honor, or by an opposition to the interests of the community in general or to the Society in particular, may render himself unworthy to continue in membership.
In order to form funds that may be respectable, each member shall contribute, upon his admission to the Society and annually thereafter, such sums as the by-laws of the respective State Societies may require; but any of such State Societies may provide for the endowment of membership by the payment of proper sums in capitalization, which sums shall be properly invested as a permanent fund, the income only of which shall be expended.
The regular meeting of the General Society shall be held every three years, and special meetings may be held upon the order of the General President or upon the request of two of the State Societies, and such meetings shall consist of two delegates from each State Societies, and one additional delegate for every one hundred (100) members or major portion thereof; and on all questions arising at meetings of the General Society each delegate there present shall be entitled to one vote, and no votes shall be taken by States, and the necessary expenses of such meeting shall be borne by the State Societies. The expense money of active General Society Officers (not Honorary) shall be limited to round-trip coach fare from their residence to the place of meeting, and $10.00 per diem for the days of said meeting.
In the event of the retirement, death, disability or inability for any reason of the General President, the Executive Committee or the Board of Managers shall from among the Officers of the Society elect a successor to serve the unexpired portion of the term. The Executive Committee or the Board of Managers may determine that a disability or inability to serve exists or accept a resignation.
In the event of the retirement, death, disability or inability for any reason to serve of any other General Officer or member of the Nominating Committee or appointed member of the Executive Committee, the unexpired term of such General Officer or member of the Nominating Committee or of the Executive Committee shall be filled by appointment by the General President subject to confirmation by majority vote of the General Society Board of Managers at their next subsequent meeting, such confirmed successor to serve until the next regular meeting. If confirmation is withheld by the Board, a successor shall be chosen by majority vote of the members of the Board of Managers present at such meeting.
Fifteen percent of the duly qualified delegates shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings of the General Society provided that no less than five Societies are represented.
At the regular meeting, a General President, six General Vice-Presidents (one to come from each region hereinafter defined), a General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, General Treasurer, Assistant General Treasurer, General Registrar, General Historian, General Chaplain, General Solicitor, General Surgeon, General Captain of the Color Guard, and a Nominating Committee composed of six members, will be chosen by a majority of the votes present to serve until the next regular meeting or until their successors are duly chosen. The Nominating Committee shall submit its report at the first business session of the next regular meeting. No General President shall serve for more than three years.
At such regular meeting there may also be chosen in the same manner General Presidents Emeritus and such other general officers emeritus as are deemed deserving by reason of significant service to the General Society and these emeritus officers shall serve for life.
The six regions represented by General Vice-Presidents
are comprised as follows:
Region #1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Region #2: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Region #3: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Region #4: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
Region #5: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Region #6: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
At each meeting of the General Society the circular letters which have been transmitted by the several State Societies shall be considered, and all measures taken which shall conduce to the general welfare of the Society.
The General Society shall have power at any meeting to admit State Societies, thereto, and to entertain and determine all questions affecting the qualifications for membership in or the welfare of any State Societies as may, by proper memorial, be presented by such State Societies for consideration.
But the General Society shall have no power under this provision to expel any state society or member thereof or otherwise to discipline or prosecute any state society or member thereof.
Any male person above the age of eighteen years, of good character, and a descendant of one who, as a military, naval, or marine officer, soldier, sailor or marine, in actual service, under the authority of the original thirteen Colonies or States or of the Continental Congress, and remaining always loyal to such authority, or a descendant of one who signed the Declaration of Independence, or of one who, as a member of the Continental Congress or of the Congress of any of the Colonies or States, or as an official appointed by or under the authority of any such legislative bodies, actually assisted in the establishment of American Independence by services rendered during the War of Revolution, becoming thereby liable to conviction of treason, against the government of Great Britain, but remaining always loyal to the authority of the Colonies or States, or who served honorably in a military or naval expedition against the British during the War of the Revolution under the authority of the French or Spanish governments shall be eligible to membership in the Society.
Any male person under the age of eligibility for full membership but otherwise qualified shall nevertheless be eligible for junior membership in the Society.
No applicant for membership in this Society may be admitted and any member of the organization may be expelled there from, provided such applicant or member has advocated, believed in or supported any party, organization or school that teaches or advocates the overthrow of any State government or governments of the United States of America, either by violence or subversive means, methods or any unconstitutional acts, unless such person shall have renounced, denounced and repudiated any such doctrine or doctrines in good faith satisfactory to this Society.
The General Registrar shall transmit to the General Secretary a list of all new members, together with the names and official designations of those from whom such members derived claim to membership, as extracted from duplicate applications when received from the State Societies.
The Society shall have an insignia, which shall be a badge suspended from a ribbon by a ring of gold, the badge to be elliptical in form, with escalloped edges, one and one-quarter inches in length, and one and one-eighth inches in width; the whole surmounted by a gold eagle, with wings displayed, inverted; on the obverse side a medallion of gold in the center elliptical in form, bearing on its face the figure of a soldier in Continental uniform, with musket slung; beneath, the figures 1775; the medallion surrounded by thirteen raised gold stars of five points each upon a border of dark blue enamel. On the reverse side, in the center, a medallion corresponding in form to that on the obverse, and also in gold, bearing on its face the Houdon portrait of Washington in bas-relief, encircled by the legend, "Sons of the Revolution"; beneath the figures 1883; and upon the reverse of the eagle the number of the badge to be engraved; the medallion to be surrounded by a plain gold border, conforming in dimensions to the obverse; the ribbon shall be dark blue, ribbed and watered, edged with buff, one and one-quarter inches wide, and one and one-half inches in displayed length.
The insignia of the Society shall be worn by the members on all occasions when they assemble as such for any stated purpose or celebration, and may be worn on any occasion of ceremony; it shall be carried conspicuously on the left breast, but members who are or have been officers of the Society may wear the insignia suspended from the ribbon around the neck. Members who are or who have been General Officers may wear the badge, with formal attire, suspended from a broad sash approximately four inches in width.
The custodian of the insignia shall be such General Officer or staff employee of the General Society, as may be specified from time to time by the General President, who shall issue insignia to members of the Society under such proper rules as may be formulated by the General Society.
The seal of the Society shall be one and seven-eighths inches in diameter, and shall consist of the figure of a Minuteman in Continental uniform, standing on a ladder leading to a belfry; in his left hand he holds a musket and an olive branch, whilst his right grasps a bell-rope; above, the cracked Liberty Bell; issuing there from a ribbon bearing the motto of the Society, "Exegi monumentum aere perennius," across the top of the latter, on a ribbon, the figures 1776; and on the left of the Minuteman, and also on a ribbon, the figures 1883, the year of the formation of the Society; the whole encircled by a band three-eighths of one inch wide; thereon at the top thirteen stars of five points each; at the bottom the name of the General Society, or of the State Societies to which the seal belongs.
Any proposed amendment of this Constitution must be submitted in writing, by a vote of the General Board of Managers or of a State Societies, to the General Secretary, with a copy to the General President, at least seven months before the regular meeting of the General Society at which such amendment is to be considered and the General Secretary shall mail a copy of all proposed amendments to the Secretary of each State Societies at least six months before such regular meeting.
A two-thirds vote of the delegates present and voting at a regular meeting of the General Society shall be required for the adoption of any amendment.