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Masonic Facts

Forget Me NotThe Forget-Me-Not.
  As early as the year 1934, after Hitler's rise to power, it became apparent that Freemasonry was in danger.  In the same year, the German Grand Lodge of the Sun in Bayreuth (one of the pre-war German Grand Lodges), realized the imminent problems facing them and elected a little blue flower, the Forget-Me-Not, in lieu of the traditional Square and Compasses, as a mark of identity for Masons. 

It was felt that the new symbol would not attract attention from the Nazis, who were in the process of confiscating and appropriating Masonic Lodges and property.  Masonry had gone underground and it was necessary that the Brethren have some recognizable means of identification.  Throughout the entire Nazi era, the little blue flower in the lapel marked Brothers in Concentration Camps as well as in the cities.  In 1947, when the Grand Lodge of the Sun was reopened in Bayreuth, the Forget-Me-Not was adopted as the official emblem of the first annual convention of those who survived the bitter years.

In 1948, the pin was adopted as an official Masonic emblem honoring those valiant Brethren who carried their work on under adverse conditions.  At the Grand Masters Conference in the United States, Dr. Theodore Vogel, Grand Master of the newly formed UGL, AF & AM presented one of the pins to each of the representatives of the Grand Jurisdictions with which the UGL, A.F. & A.M. enjoyed Fraternal relations.

Although some believe that this was Hitler's favorite, his favorite flower was actually the Edelweiss which is a beautiful alpine mountain flower.

In 1954, Martin's Station Lodge No. 188 of Virginia was opened 952 feet below the surface of Cumberland Mountain in Cudjo's Cave, which lies between  Cumberland Gap, Tennessee and Middleboro, Kentucky. 345 Masons were present and a MM degree was conferred.

(Three Dots):  What are those three dots arranged in a triangular pattern?   There are relatively few references made as to the purpose and usage of the three dots used in a triangular form in Masonry.  The practice was apparently started in France on the 12th of August in 1774 by the Grand Orient of France (Scottish Rite) in an address to its subordinates.  They were sometimes called Three Point Brothers.  The usage became popular in the United States and is seen today in some Scottish Rite documents.  Any significance they had two hundred years ago is now long lost.

USA General Thomas Benton, also Grand Master of Iowa, ordered Federal Troops to protect Albert Pike's home and prevent the library from being burned when his troops took Little Rock, Arkansas

In July 1863, Confederate Raiders rode into Versailles, Indiana, capturing the local militia and stealing the county treasury. The next day, General John Morgan (CSA), learned that his men had also made off with the jewels of the local lodge. They were returned the following day. Morgan was from Davies Lodge #22, Lexington, Kentucky.

Frederick A Bartholdi, a freemason, designed the statue of Liberty that stands fin New York Harbor. Grand Lodge of New York laid the corner stone on August 5, 1885.

Washington Chapter #3 of Portsmouth, New Hampshire announced its meetings via the town crier, who received from 6 to 25 cents for his work.

In 1860 in Limerick, Ireland, there was found a stone in a small chapel, dated 1517, with the following inscription: "I will serve to live with love & care, upon the level, and by the square."

Chicago, Illinois has three American Legion Posts whose memberships are entirely Masonic.

At one time, Golden Lodge #5, Stanstead, Canada occupied a lodge room, which straddled the boundary between Canada and the United States. There were entrances on both sides of the border

Dr. Edward Jenner, in 1789 discovered the vaccination process against smallpox. He was Worshipful Master of Faith and Friendship Lodge #270 in Berkeley, England at the time

Wheelock Commandery No.5, Knights Templar, in Texas had all 55 of its members killed serving in the Confederate Army. The Commandery ceased to exist.

In 1872 the commissioner of Patents held that the Masonic emblem could not be used in a trademark or trade name for commercial purposes.

Why are Masons involved in laying the cornerstones of buildings? Are all members of Masonry taught 'operative' masonry skills?

Freemasonry, because it's non-sectarian and the heir to the historical tradition of building, is the appropriate organization to dedicate the cornerstone of a public edifice. Of course, many churches invited the Masons to solemnize their cornerstone laying, in addition to the religious ceremonies.

Some Masons wear their rings with the compass points facing outward while others wear theirs with the compass points pointing toward them. What's the significance of each?                                                    

There is no proscribed manner but, for many, there are subtle allegories to which they attach great meaning.  As one example, some brethren have said that to wear the ring with the points out, toward the finger tip was to proclaim to the world that a person was a Mason.

To wear the ring with the points in, toward the wrist was to remind the wearer that he was a Mason.

There are also some who'll say that one wears the ring as he last saw the Square and Compasses.  Who knows? 

How the ring is worn is not nearly as important as what it means to the wearer. A Mason should wear his ring (and all other Masonic jewelry) with pleasure to himself and honor to the fraternity!

In the court decision, Hammer vs. State,173 Indiana, 199 (1909), the Supreme Court ruled that it was a criminal offense to wear the emblem of any society or organization of which one is not a member.  The Court based its decision on the fact that membership is such societies is the result of fitness and selection and that the wearing of such emblems by non-members is a deceit and false pretense.