Merit Bars primarily are awards that recognize DeMolays for achievement in some phase of Chapter activity or in their personal lives while members of DeMolay. Merit Bars are awarded to individual members on the recommendation of the Awards Advisor. The Advisory Council makes a final decision about whether an individual has met the requirements for each bar.
Each Merit Bar is produced in five colors. Each color designates the number of times a DeMolay has received a bar in that category. The color designations are:
1st Award – White
2nd Award – Red
3rd Award – Blue
4th Award – Purple
5th Award – Gold
The categories in which Merit Bars are awarded through DeMolay International are Athletics, Attendance, Civic Service, Conclave, Correspondence Course, Fine Art, Fund Raising, Installing, Journalism, Masonic Attendance, Masonic Service, Membership, Merit, Priory, Religion, Ritual, Scholastic, and Visitation.