Founded in 1958
Colonel Hamilton Fish III
The Order of Lafayette is a patriotic, hereditary, nonpartisan, and fraternal organization established in New York City in 1958 by Colonel Hamilton Fish III (1888-1991), a former Congressman from New York State and a decorated veteran of the First World War. The Order's inspiration is the Marquis de Lafayette, the French nobleman who was commissioned a general in the Continental Army, and served with George Washington during the American Revolution. The Order's principles are "God, Unity, Peace, Honor."
A serving officer of the famed 369th Regiment (The Harlem Hellfighters), New York Army National Guard, Colonel Fish founded the Order of Lafayette as a society to promote Franco-American amity by recognizing the service of American military personnel who fought in France and French possessions in World War I and World War II and exceptional French military personages who aided the Allied cause in those conflicts.
The Order participates in a number of patriotic activities such as the graduation convocations of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the Military College of South Carolina, 'The Citadel', where the Order of Lafayette Award is given to a distinguished graduate in the field of French language studies.
The Order also participates in social and cultural gatherings to promote and improve French-American relations, the annual "Massing of the Colors" ceremony each autumn, and other events.
The flag of the Order of Lafayette was designed by longtime member Mr. Kenneth A. Menken. Based on the French Tricolor it incorporates thirteen stars and the Order of Lafayette's insignia in the center. The flag symbolizes France's contributions to the struggle for American independence during the American Revolution, and at the same time, America's defense of freedom on French soil during two conflicts, the First and Second World Wars.
COL Hamilton Fish III