1- DEFINITION OF ROTARY 
How do you describe the organization called “Rotary”? There are so many characteristics of a Rotary club as well as the activities of a million Rotarians. There are the features of service, internationality, fellowship, classifications of each vocation, development of goodwill and world understanding, the emphasis of high ethical standards, concern for other people an many more descriptive qualities.
In 1976 the Rotary International Board of Directors was interested creating a concise definition of the fundamental aspects of Rotary. The turned to the three men who were then serving on Rotary’s Public Relation Committee and requested that a one-sentence definition of Rotary be pre pared. After numerous drafts, the committee presented this definition, which has been used ever since in various Rotary publications:
“Rotary is an organization of business and professional person united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”
Those 31 words are worth remembering when someone asks, “What is a Rotary club?”
2 – THE OFFICIAL ROTARY FLAG 
An official flag was formally adopted by Rotary International at the 1929 Convention in Dallas, Texas. The Rotary flag consists of a white field with the official wheel emblem emblazoned in gold in the center of the field The four depressed spaces on the rim of the Rotary wheel are colored royal blue. The words “Rotary” and “International’ printed at the top and bottom depressions on the wheel rim are also gold. The shaft in the hub and the key way of the wheel are white.
The first official Rotary flag reportedly was flown in Kansas City Missouri, in January 1915. In 1922 a small Rotary flag was carried over the South Pole by Admiral Richard Byrd, a member of the Winchester, Virginia Rotary Club. Four years later, the admiral carried a Rotary flag in his expedition to the North Pole.

 

Some Rotary clubs use the official Rotary flag as a banner at club meetings. In these instances it is appropriate to print the words “Rotary Club” above the wheel symbol, and the name of the city, state or nation below the emblem.

The Rotary flag is always prominently displayed at the World Headquarters as well as at all conventions and official events of Rotary International.
3 – ROTARY’S WHEEL EMBLEM
A wheel has been the symbol of Rotary since our earliest days. The first design was made by Chicago Rotarian Montague Bear, an engraver who drew a simple wagon wheel, with a few lines to show dust and motion. The wheel was said to illustrate “Civilization and Movement.” Most of the early clubs had some form of wagon wheel on their publications and letterheads. Finally, in 1922, it was decided that all Rotary clubs should adopt a single design as the exclusive emblem of Rotarians. Thus, in 1923, the present gear wheel, with 24 cogs and six spokes was adopted by the “Rotary International Association.” A group of engineers advised that the geared wheel was mechanically unsound and would not work without a “keyway” in the center of the gear to attach it to a power shaft. So, in 1923 the keyway was added and the design which we now know was formally adopted as the official Rotary International emblem.
4 – OBJECT OF ROTARY
In some areas of the world weekly Rotary club meetings begin with all members standing and reciting the Object of Rotary This statement, which comes from the Constitution of Rotary, is frequently seen on a wall plaque in Rotarians’ offices or place of business.
The Object of Rotary is “to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.” The statement then lists four areas by which this “ideal of service” is fostered: “through the development of acquaintance as the opportunity for service; the promotion of high ethical standards in business and professions; through service in one’s personal, business and community life; and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace.”

The Object of Rotary has not always been expressed in this manner. The original Constitution of 1906 had three objects: promotion of business interests, promotion of good fellowship and the advancement of the best interests of the community By 1910 Rotary had five Objects as increased emphasis was given to expanding Rotary. By 1915 there were six Objects. In 1918 the Objects were rewritten again and reduced to four. Four years later they had again grown to six and were revised again in 1927.

Finally, at the 1935 Mexico City Convention the six Objects were restated and reduced to four. The last major change came in 1951, when the “Objects” were streamlined and changed to a single “Object” which is manifested in four separate ways. The “ideal of service” is the key phrase in the Object of Rotary. This ideal is an attitude of being a thoughtful and helpful person in all of one’s endeavors. That’s what the Object truly means.
5 – ROTARY MOTTOES
The first motto of Rotary International, “He Profits Most Who Serves Best,” was approved at the second Rotary Convention, held in Portland, Oregon, in August 1911. The phrase was first stated by a Chicago Rotarian, Art Sheldon, who made a speech in 1910 which included the remark, “He profits most who serves his fellows best.” At about the same time, Ben Collins, president of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis, Minnesota, commented that the proper way to organize a Rotary club was through the principle his club had adopted-“Service, Not Self.” These two slogans, slightly modified, were formally approved to be the official mottoes of Rotary at the 1950 Convention in Detroit- “He Profits Most Who Serves Best” and “Service Above Self.” The 1989 Council on Legislation established “Service Above Self” as the principal motto of Rotary, since it best explains the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service.

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