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Medal, Military Order of the Serpent
Old 07-25-2004, 05:17 AM   #1
Frentebro
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Default Medal, Military Order of the Serpent

I was told by the seller that this was a SpanAm vet organisation. I was unable to find anything definite online, altho my impression is it may be an award of some fraternal group. Any ideas?

The medal consists of am unmarked uniface bronze or bronzed planchet with symbols of various military arms (engineer's castle, crossed muskets, etc.) placed on the arms of a 5-pointed star, which are shaped like the bastions of a fort. There is a small skull at the 6 o'clock position.

There is an interior disc depicting a snake curved around an open book, with the name of the organisation as above. The pinback ribbon is half red & half black, divided vertically. Condition is like new. I paid $5 for it.
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Old 07-25-2004, 10:04 AM   #2
JBFloyd
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The Military Order of the Serpent was the "fun" sub-group of the United Spanish War Veterans.

The badge you describe is that of the First Degree ("Katipunan"). The Second Degree uses a similar badge with the center medallion in silver. The Third Degree has a triangular pendant depicting the badge. The Fourth Degree has a triangular pendant with the badge in gilt.

The Serpent is not well covered in any source, although several people seem to be accumulating Serpent memorabilia. The First Degree badges are relatively common, but the higher degrees are fairly scarce.
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Order of the Serpent
Old 07-25-2004, 05:38 PM   #3
Douglas J Schrack
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Default Order of the Serpent

An interesting topic and one that there is not much information on. I have two variations of the third degree Badge. One has the interior emblem inside the triangle flush and the other has the emblem raised. The raised version has a silver clasp attached to the ribbon and there are two crossed swords or machetes and the number 2 on both sides of the crossed swords.
There is apparently a ritual and a dance with these swords? Hoping you can add to this.
Doug
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:21 PM   #4
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My understanding is that the silver bar with swords/machetes/bolos/scimitars denotes an officer in the Serpents. I've only seen one basic design for the bar, so apparently one size fits all officers.

There are certainly design variations within the membership degree medals. I've seen the First Degree medal with cut-outs between the arms and without. Doug's comment on the Third Degree badge parallels that. I suspect that badges got simpler as time went on and costs for additional elements on the badge went up.
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:26 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys, an obscure subject for sure. I'm not a medal collector but i liked the design, the condition, & the price, & that i'd never seen one before. Mine is the solid, flat version. I found it thrown in a box along with various odds & ends at a sidewalk sale.

Another find in the same box was a Mint dummy Krag cartridge with the name & address of a restaurant litho'ed on. (I don't see the connection but maybe that worked to make the restaurant more memorable!)
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Spanish American War
Old 07-27-2004, 08:19 AM   #6
Douglas J Schrack
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Frentebro
The Spanish American War, the first of several "Expansionist" wars ushered in a wave advertising that saw the likes of Roosevelt, Dewey, the Battleship Maine and everything you can imagine imprinted on everyday items much like we see today. Your bullet, a nice item of that time.

Doug
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