About the Order
The Fraternal Order of the Golden Owl is an international, private, lay, fraternal order of a chivalric nature, created and conceived by Clifford Phillip Brunetti I, herein referred to as the Prior, to instruct in chivalric wisdom, knowledge, and personal responsibilities, challenging members to achieve these high levels of personal standards, and share chivalric adventures. As of April 2021, we have 42 knights in England, Scotland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, and all over the United States.
ORIGINS AND HISTORY
The Fraternal Order of the Golden Owl was founded with the induction of nine original members on September 22, 2020, the Autumnal Equinox. The inspiration for the Order originated as the Prior’s Chivalry-Now project (www.chivalrynow.net) which was the “Defensor Team” of Sarasota Military Academy (www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org), a martial art based chivalric self-defense club.
ABOUT THE PRIOR
The Prior holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, has created several start-up businesses, administers his rental homes, is the financial director of his wife’s dental practice, and is an active stock trader.
The Prior is a life-long martial arts practitioner and licensed master, Menkyo Shihan, of a traditional Japanese martial arts school, Hakkoryu Jujutsu (http://www.Kazoku-Dojo.com). He currently practices several other martial arts, enjoys hiking, and shooting.
The Prior is a U.S. Air Force military veteran, trained in counter-terrorism and sniper interdiction within the Emergency Services Team (EST), as well as holding special education identifiers in Air Base Ground Defense and as an M-60 weapons specialist. The Prior is a recipient of the Air Force’s Achievement Medal for Meritorious Service and the as an EST team leader and riot control member during the 1988 Olympics.
The Prior was granted heraldic arms, badge, and standard by the authority of Queen Elizabeth II and the hereditary Earl Marshall, and sealed by all three Kings of Arms in the United Kingdom.
The Prior chose his own granted para-heraldic badge and a variant as the symbol for his knighthood fraternity. It is used for his knights, as was the original purpose of a badge, to identify the followers of an armiger.
THE BADGE OF THE ORDER
The Badge of the Order is used as a symbol for all knights and used for the Order’s insignia. It is a green Maltese cross bordered in gold, the corners and center are adorned with the owl badge. It is heraldically blazoned as follows: “A Maltese cross Vert bordered Or in fess point encircled by an annulet Purpure and in each corner an Owl displayed Or charged on the breast with a Chevron and holding in each foot a Roundel Vert.”
GOALS OF THE ORDER
The primary goal of the Fraternal Order of the Golden Owl is to individually, “Learn and Live Chivalry, One Adventure at a Time.” The Order has a video platformed Squire Academy in which candidates learn of chivalric concepts and are designed to create thoughtful reflection and modern, achievable adventures in order to begin to live out an idealized chivalric lifestyle. When the Creed of our chivalric code has been integrated, it is hoped that our knights will change the world, one adventure at a time. To share these goals with others and bring them to the Order to become knights, furthers our goals by spreading good will and conduct throughout the world. While we are not a charitable organization, commanderies under the leadership of Warrant Knight Commanders make take on whatever monetary or societal commitment that they feel is in keeping with a chivalric lifestyle, their abilities, and the needs of their local community. The Fraternal Order of the Golden Owl, if it engages in a charity of any sort, will only have voluntary contributions from its members, who are under no obligation to assist either monetarily nor physically. There are no recurring fees within our Order.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE ORDER
Members are chosen by the sole pleasure of the Prior through both nominations and applications. Members must be a gentleman or lady of the age of majority who has demonstrable knowledge in chivalric wisdom, principles, and responsibilities, minimally through our Squire Academy. Under the age of majority are considered on a case by case basis. Age alone is not a reason for denying membership. Membership is international.
STRUCTURE OF THE ORDER
The structure of the Fraternal Order of the Golden Owl is based on ancient medieval monastic Orders of chivalry. The Order has a Grand Master, called the Prior, five Officers, Warrant Knight Commanders, Knight Commanders, Knights, and Dames.
Prior: Head of the Order. All responsibility and ultimate authority rest with this office. The Prior accepts or rejects applicants at will and nominates or removes officers at will. The Prior is in charge of the strategic direction of and the tone and humor of the Order.
Chancellor: Master of the Order. The Chancellor is given authority by the Prior to accept or deny applicants and is holder of the Privy Seal of the House of Brunetti for all Order documents.
Prelate: Moral Head of the Order. The Prelate is given authority to oversee the basis and specific chivalric ideals that the Order adheres to and ensures compliance as far as possible. Knights have an obligation to stay in compliance with our code of chivalry, called the Creed.
Registrar: Guide of the Order. The Registrar is given authority to oversee candidates through to completion of the Squire Academy, by ensuring that the initial necessary information is gathered, and helps candidates navigate through the processes toward knighthood in our Order.
Secretary: Scribe of the Order. The Secretary is given the authority to document all knights into the “Roll of Knights of the Golden Owl,” to maintain and back up such records, and to create documents for the Order as may be necessary.
Men-at-Arms: Guardians of the Order. Men-at-Arms are given authority to actively secure the safety of knights, guests, and friends on behalf of the Order during physical meetings, parades, or other ceremonies of the Order.
THE LEVELS OF MEMBERSHIP WITHIN THE ORDER
There are four levels of membership within the Fraternal Order of the Golden Owl, they are as follows:
- Knights and Dames. A knight is a person, male or female, who has successfully completed the Squire Academy and whom the Prior or Chancellor has personally approved. A Dame is a female knight equivalent with whom the Prior or Chancellor has personally approved. Ladies have their choice to be recognized as a Knight or a Dame.
- Knight Commanders. The position of Knight or Dame Commander is bestowed by the Prior only. Any knight may petition for the honorary distinction.
- Warrant Knight Commanders. The position of a Warrant Knight Commander is only held by knights who have been given a warrant to open a local commandery of knights. This commandery may hold meetings and direct local activities of the Order.
- Prior. The Prior is the founder or current head of the Order. It is a singular grade.
ROLL OF KNIGHTS
The Roll of Knights is maintained both physically and digitally. Physically it is kept in the Order’s Codex and digitally it is a document maintained by the Secretary of the Order and kept private for Order use only.
ROLL OF ARMS
While heraldic arms are not necessary for inclusion into the Fraternal Order of the Golden Owl, if borne, they may be added to the Order’s “Roll of Arms,” a heraldic register.