The museum is fortunate to have two Mason aprons (badges of office) on exhibit.
Made of lamb skin, this white apron was given to a new member upon initiation. This apron was awarded in the 1880’s through the Andrew Jackson Lodge (120) of Alexandria, Virginia. There have been over 6,000,000 of these aprons awarded over the last 150 years. The Andrew Jackson Lodge meets at the George Washington Memorial.
This apron is made of muslin and silk and is completely hand-wrought, including the painting on the silk. Dating to the 1820’s, this badge would not have been for the Orange Lodge as it was established November 14, 1847.
While theories abound, there is no definitive, provable link between the Knights Templar and the Freemasons. The use of similar symbols can be confusing. The Knights Templar were founded after the First Crusade. Masons are referenced in a Regius Poem (c. 1390) but were formally founded when four lodges formed the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. The Freemasons are a charitable fraternity dedicated to social betterment through individual effort and involvement.