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Golden Fleece, Roman eagle, Star and Garter and, The White Leather Apron

Bro. Kurt P.M.

2018 14G DCO
Premium Member
The legend of the Golden Fleece has been handed down from time immemorial. Mythology tells us that the Golden Fleece was supposed by the Greeks to be hidden in a remote land far across the trackless sea. This precious fleece grew upon the back of a ram, the gift of one of their gods. The ram was constantly guarded by bulls that breathed fire and by a dragon that never slept. The promise to the Greeks was (so the fable went) that if they could find and recover the Golden Fleece and bring it to Greece, wealth and prosperity would abound in that country. The hope of redeeming that promise led to the formation of an order which embraced in its membership many of the most illustrious men of that period, who were called Argonauts from the name of the ship, Argo, on which they sailed. Tradition is saturated with the daring deeds and suffering of those men in the cause in which they enlisted. The badge of the order was the symbol of a Golden Fleece.

The Roman eagle was the Military Standard of the ancient Romans. They believed it was the bird of the Planet Jove, which we know as the planet Jupiter. The Romans believed that dead emperors were carried up to heaven by an eagle. The eagles topped their scepters and were the insignia of the Roman legion.

The "Star and Garter" originates from an abbreviation of the insignia belonging to The Order of the Garter which was founded by King Edward III. In 1349 the king was dancing with the Countess of Salisbury at a great court ball and she lost her garter. As the King picked it up to hand it to her he saw several people smile and indulge in remarks about the situation. This made the King angry and he explained in French,“Shamed be the person who thinks evil of itâ€. Then he added that he would wish to wear it, so he created the order which restricts its members to be only of the royal family and English nobility.

But more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman eagle and more honorable than the Star and Garter is the order whose badge is a lambskin or white leather apron, whose aim is innocence and purity of life, and whose object is charity and brotherly love. This order, our order Freemasonry, has survived while others have perished, and teaches us that if we live in accordance with its tenets, we, too, shall persevere.

The earliest mention of the apron was when Melchizedek, with Abraham started the first priesthood. Melchizedek was the most high priest and the first to wear the apron as the badge of religious authority. From the days of Melchizedek, the white apron was the symbol of the priesthood.

The apron is the first gift a man receives in Masonry and one of the first symbols explained to him. It is the first tangible evidence of becoming a mason.

The Freemason does not wear a white apron because of Greek mythology, the beliefs of the ancient Romans, or an act of an English King, The Free Mason wears the lambskin because it is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason, doing so with pleasure and honor to the Fraternity.