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Author Topic: Fiat Lux Order  (Read 1736 times)

jason77

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Fiat Lux Order
« on: 2016-07-20, 03:06:53 »
Has anyone seen the Knightly Order of the Fiat Lux and do you know anything of them?
www.tkofl.org

They seem to be another Order which is based upon charitable efforts. The problem or rather curiosity I have is that in the FAQ's section of their NY Chapter they state:

Quote
Q: Are you a real Knighthood?
A: Yes we are. After exhaustive research and contact with the Windsor College of Arms in Windsor England, and the Department of State in NC, the Fiat Lux is recognized as an official knighthood entitling its dubbed members the honorific "Sir". Our Heraldry, called the Achievement, is full of meaning and honor.

The US government has very specific legislation barring any recognition of nobility and the awarding of noble titles including those of Knights which also precludes the use of the formal title of "Sir" as attributed to a Knight. Its seems quite odd that they would assert that they are a legitimate Knightly order recognized by both English and American legal institutions.

Am I missing something here? I see that the title "Sir" is honorific but this just sounds like a stretch of the truth.
« Last Edit: 2016-07-20, 03:07:47 by jason77 »
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #1 on: 2016-07-20, 04:48:12 »
THe SCA got the OK from the English heraldic folks to use their stuff and that it wouldn't be stepping on toes. I could maybe prove my arms (registered in the SCA in 1987) are trademarked as I've used them for 29 years, but I highly doubt they can get the legal title of Sir as that still is a legal title and is derived in England only from the Throne. Thus yes, in the USA one can be called Sir but it needs to IIRC come from a place like England, France, Spain, Sweden, or the like that still has them.

Side note: There is an Englishman whom is a French knight and earned it via use of combat arms. His name is Alex Rowe, he's 50, and he was not allowed in to the British military due to a detached retina. What did he do for France you ask? He was a sniper in the Foreign Legion.
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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #2 on: 2016-07-20, 15:49:08 »

That does strike me a little odd. The US government is forbidden to recognize any sort of official titles or nobility, but I don't know how/if that extends to the state level, and I have no idea how the UK functions in terms of foreign organizations. It seems questionable, but I don't know enough to say for sure.

Private organizations can of course do what they want internally, but government recognition is entirely different.
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Jon Blair

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #3 on: 2016-07-20, 18:58:38 »
United States Constitution, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 8 states:
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No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
Article VI, paragraph 2 states:
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This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
The prohibition on titles of nobility was a carry over from Article VI of the Articles of Confederation:
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No State, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any King, Prince or State; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any King, Prince or foreign State; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.
Ergo, individual states can't acknowledge or grant titles of nobility any more so than the federal government may as they are held to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, which strictly forbids it. A foreign government or head of State/Royal/Noble House, who holds sovereignty and may confer a title, may do so to a US citizen in spite of residency or citizenship status; however, no government of the United States or any individual State or locality may officially recognize that title and at no time may any officer (elected or appointed) of the United States or any individual State or locality accept that title of nobility while holding that office. Federal and state governments acknowledge the use of an honorific for meritocratic use (Doctors for PhDs), gender identification (Mister/Mistress, Sir/Ma'am), or professional identification (Honorable for certain political offices, Doctor for medical doctors, or Esquire for attorneys), but it is strictly optional in any event. Of course, if you name your child "Sir Edward" or "Prince William", then "Sir" or "Prince" is not an honorific associated with a title, but instead a part of your name.
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jason77

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #4 on: 2016-07-20, 20:19:06 »
Thanks for all the thoughts on this. They seem like a good group of men and women with a charitable cause so I don't intend to call into question their integrity. I simply understand how the US laws are written and it seems a bit misleading to me. I know that its tempting to want to word an organizations credentials in a certain way so as to appear more legitimate but its better to just plainly state that knighthood is either granted by Royal decree or Pontifical decree and most US citizens (lest you've written a hit record) don't have neither. Notwithstanding that said honor has no standing in the US.

Having a "Knightly" organization however is not uncommon as we have groups such as the Knights of Pythia (and others) who are historically engaged in charitable works. This is IMO a better representation of Knighthood than what many people believe about late medieval period Knights which were part of the system of feudalism and were not into charity activities. The peasants were considered slaves and the Knights exploited them fully.

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Sir James A

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #5 on: 2016-07-21, 01:29:35 »
I'd wager that honorific "sir" and legal "sir" are not the same thing.
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Sir Rodney

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #6 on: 2016-07-24, 04:57:38 »
I'd wager that honorific "sir" and legal "sir" are not the same thing.

True.  I can't even use my honorific Order title of "Sir" in the SCA.  Though I'm much older and have  many more years of experience than most SCA Knights, I've never bothered to go through the proper process.
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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #7 on: 2016-08-01, 19:33:41 »

I should point out, as an aside, that all of the Fiat Lux members I've met have been upstanding gentlemen. At least that's my experience. :)
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Joshua Santana

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #8 on: 2016-08-02, 01:33:59 »
Interesting thread so far.  I will say that if we are to revive Knighthood, make it more of honorific title and lifestyle that benefits individuals and a community in the grand scheme of things.  It seems the Fiat Lux could be something we can draw an example from so as to make an impact wherever we are.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #9 on: 2016-08-02, 01:46:42 »
Interesting thread so far.  I will say that if we are to revive Knighthood, make it more of honorific title and lifestyle that benefits individuals and a community in the grand scheme of things.  It seems the Fiat Lux could be something we can draw an example from so as to make an impact wherever we are.

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Joshua Santana

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #10 on: 2016-08-03, 01:21:38 »
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Sir James (Fiat Lux)

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #11 on: 2016-11-25, 02:37:10 »
I need to remind myself to check in here a bit more often!

In short, the honorific of Sir can still be used, however it entails no privilege in the eyes of the government. Essentially, it's nice to have the recognition, but whereas a title of nobility would infer class-based privileges, the honorific title only grants organizational privilege.

Similar to the rank structure of the Order of the Marshal, the Fiat Lux essentially uses the honorific of the knight to identify a full-fledged member. It grants nothing, but to some, it means everything. Hope that clears things up!

Joshua Santana

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Re: Fiat Lux Order
« Reply #12 on: 2016-11-25, 23:01:48 »
Sir James, thank you for the clarification. 
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