You may have to hit your refresh or reload button to pull up everything.
This page is under reconstruction as of this date: 7/22/11. Some items exhibited have been removed permanently or will be put in other annexes as the museum expands.
These items are not for sale. They are museum exhibits only.
(1) The robe worn by Imperial Wizard James A. Colescott, of Terre Haute, IN. He was the last of the Wizards to rule the KKK organization founded by Imperial Wizard William Joseph Simmons in 1915. I.W. Colescott reigned form 1939 to 1944, when he ordered the disbandment of the KKK because they were unable to pay back taxes owed from the heyday of the 1920's. Below: I.W Colescott wearing the robe above.
(2) 1920's robe for an Exalted Cyclops (Klavern leader) of the Albert Pike Klavern #2 in Rutherford, New Jersey. Confederate General Albert Pike was the chief judicial officer for the original KKK. He was also a major leading figure in Scottish Rite Masonry. He is buried in the Masonic Lodge in Washington, D. C. a few blocks from the White House. Here the Klan sword is seen indicating a second degree (K-Duo or Knight of the White Kamellia) Klansman. The hood is minus the mask indicating the third degree (K-Trio or Knight of the Great Forest). On the hood is: E C 2 N J, which means: Exalted Cyclops #2 Klavern of New Jersey.
(3) Red is the color of a robe worn by a Titan or county leader. High ranking Klan officers wore two breast patches. The baldric (sash) with the white camellia flower indicates a K-Duo Klansman. Circa 1920's.
(4) (5) (6) Sometimes people don't understand Klan symbolism. For example, the above robe on the left is a Klanswoman's robe but it has a Klansman's K-Duo baldric. A Klanswoman's robe has a patch in the shape of a shield with a red border and a red cross in the center. The cape drapes over one shoulder and half way around the back. A Klansman's K-Duo baldric is crimson with a white camellia flower on it. I was once at a Klan rally in Pulaski, TN., the birth place of the KKK. At this rally a "Klansman" was wearing a Klanswoman's robe. When I pointed this out to him, this brain dead told me it was a Klavalier's robe. A Klavalier's robe is altogether different. These guys don't even know what they are wearing and, then, they wonder why no normal people want to join them. The center robe is a Klansman's robe with a Klanswoman's K-Duo baldric. A Klanswoman's baldric is red with a patch that looks like a mariner's compass. The robe on the right has a blue cape. The cape is not sewn on but is separate form the robe. When a Klansman advanced in rank he didn't necessarily have to get a new robe. Often they would just give him a cape whose color indicated the new rank and he would wear that over his white cape, which is sewn on the robe.
(7) These are the hoods for the above robes. Note the red tassels at the top. Also, note that these hoods do not have masks. If these robes were pre 1932, the masks were cut off. In 1932, Imperial Wizard, Dr.Hiram Evans, ordered the Klan to de-mask. Now, since the robes have K-Duo baldrics these hoods could also indicate that the owners advanced to the third degree (K-Trio, Knight of the Great Forest) of the Klan. A third degree Klansman cut the mask off and vowed never to wear a mask again. They also vowed to co-operate with the police in all investigations, as the Klan leadership was doing all it could to stop unruly members from breaking the law. After 1932, all Klan hoods were made without masks.
(8) Here's a 1920's Klan hood that doubles as a lamp shade.
(9) Many clubs, secret societies, and fraternal orders have come and gone over the past two centuries. Every now and then someone finds an unusual robe in an attic trunk somewhere. If these robes should have a mask or skull and bones everyone automatically thinks it might be a Klan robe, as was the case with the robe above. It is not a Klan robe and it is unknown what the robe was for. There was a Midwestern secret society during the 1930's called the Black Legion. It was made up of mostly police officers and judges. It was a savagely violent organization. They are the ones credited with the murder of Malcolm X's father. It was founded by men who had all been kicked out of the Klan because they committed acts of lawlessness and violence. The Black Legion decorated their robes with skulls and bones. But, so did a lot of other groups. This robe could just as likely be from the Yale University secret society, Skull and Bones, to which both Presidents Bush belong. I was contacted by an officer in the Odd Fellows. He said though the Odd Fellows use black robes (some times with or with out skull and bones) during their initiation ceremonies, the robe pictured here is NOT an Odd Fellows robe. He suggested that it might be for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles.
(10) Here's another example of mistaken identity. To the inexperienced these robes could be palmed off as Klan robes. However, they are from Spain and are used in the Catholic ceremony of the Consecration of the Pastas.
More will be added soon.