History of the Grand Cross of Color
by the Rev. W. Mark Sexson, founder of IORG
"The Grand Cross of Color is the highest award that can be
bestowed upon a Rainbow Girl or adult."
"I thought of those who had served and made Rainbow possible without any hope of
reward. This honour was intended for girls, and yet, the possibility of it was
brought about by adults, those who could see in the value of youth the coming of
tomorrow. It must have beauty and glamour in order to appeal to youth, drawing
them out of a drab period in their lives. It was the beauty and the eternal in
the lives of the adults who made this degree possible and clothed it with colour
and gave it its appeal."
"Those who labour for a prize, if they have only that in mind, will find it
empty when they receive it, but those who receive a prize for something they
have done unconsciously for someone else, will find it contains many hidden
"The honoured group in Rainbow must have a proper insignia, and I could not
detach it from that of the Cross, because I had seen it used effectively in so
many Orders. In fact, it was the one insignia that stood out above all others,
and yet, in some combinations of it, must necessarily be the highest crown of
our labours. There was the Cross of Christianity; the Roman Cross; The Cross of
St Andrew and the Roes Croix of the Scottish Rite Masonry. A proper insignia of
Rainbow could very well include all the beauties and colours of all Orders,
consequently it must be the Grand Cross of Color. There could be nothing higher
or more suggestive of the Infinite, or of the mind of youth, as it lives in its
realm where doubts had not penetrated. It would embrace all the sacredness of
Christian religion, which must forever be made dear in the hearts of youth. It
would include all the beauties that nature ever clothed herself with, so that
those who were entitled to this insignia would feel themselves in close harmony
with the world in which they live."
"The degree was first exemplified on November 7, 1927 in Okalahoma City during
the International Convention of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls."
"Brother C.L. Stange, who was then Supreme Deputy in the state of Missouri,
prepared the Vow to be used at the conferring of the degrees. This Vow has been
revised but remains practically the same as it was in the beginning. All members
of the Grand Cross, before partaking of the Mystic Banquet, will take this Vow.
It is intended for both adults and the girls. The first Mystic Banquet of the
Grand Cross of Color was held on November 15, 1931, inaugurating an annual
obligatory service of breaking bread with the Masters of the Grand Cross of
Color and renewing vows of service to the Order of the Rainbow for Girls."
"In order to become a Master, one has to be designated by the local Assembly.
The active Rainbow girl's designation is based on the growth of the Assembly.
There can be no more adults designated than girls."