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by Foster H. Garrett, 33rd

Often we speak of the "Blue Lodge" and of "Blue Lodge Masonry," but do we really understand its meaning and its origin? I am referring to the use of the color "Blue" as used in conjunction with lodge and masonry.

We are told that the Blue refers to the Canopy of Heaven and teaches the universality of Masonry. This is true and I would not take away a bit of this teaching, but would add to and enlarge on our thinking about the color blue and its Masonic symbolism.

Appropriately it is the color of the Ancient Craft degrees. It teaches and is the symbol for universal friendship and universal benevolence, as it is the color of the vault of Heaven, which embraces all the world, so should each Brother Mason be equally extensive in his virtues of friendship and brotherly love.

Among the ancient Jews the robe of the High Priest's ephod, the ribbon of his breastplate and the plate of the miter were of Blue. The people of the Jewish nation were charged to wear a blue ribbon above the hem of their garments and it was the color of one of the seven veils of the temple.

Josephus tells us that the Hebrew word for Blue was "tekelet" and that it symbolically meant perfection. Among the ancients, to be initiated into the Mysteries was to attain perfection and how better to speak of initiation into the greatest of fraternal institutions then to use a word that signifies perfection, BLUE, to designate our symbolic lodges.

Among the Druids it symbolized "truth." The Egyptians esteemed blue as a sacred color, signifying heavenly nature. Jeremiah tells us that the Babylonians clothed their idols in blue, and to the Chinese in their mystical philosophy "blue" was represented as the symbol of Deity. The Hindus assert that their god, Vishnu, was dressed in celestial blue, thus indicating that wisdom from God was symbolized by this color.

Among the medieval Christians blue was considered the emblem of immortality, as red was of the Divine Love of God.

The color Blue is used extensively in the Scottish Rite degrees, with various symbolic significations; all, however, more of less relating to its original character as representing universal friendship and benevolence.

In the Nineteenth degree of Grand Pontiff, it is symbolic of mildness, fidelity, and gentleness. In the degree of Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges it is used with yellow and refers to the appearance of Jehovah to Moses on Mount Sinai in the clouds of azure and gold. In the twenty-fourth degree it is the color of the tunic and apron of a Prince of the Tabernacle, whose teachings refer to our removal from this house of clay to the "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Here it is a symbol of heaven, as we were taught in the Symbolic Lodge.

We learn therefore that by custom and symbolism and not by any adopted law or by-law, we use Blue in referring to the Master Mason lodge as the "Blue Lodge"

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Last modified: March 22, 2014