THE COAT OF ARMS
THE REGULAR GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND
APRON The Operative Masons wore a leather apron out of necessity; when the craft became speculative this garment, so long identified with building work was retained as the badge of Masons; also as a symbol of purity.
SQUARE As a symbol it refers to the earth or the material world; as a working tool, it refers to all those forces by means of which one prepares himself to fit into his own proper place in the Brotherhood, like a Perfect Ashlar.
COMPASSES As in Operative Freemasonry, the compasses are used for the admeasurements of the architect's plans, and to enable him to give those just proportions which will ensure beauty as well as stability to his work; so, in Speculative Freemasonry, is this important implement symbolic of that even tenor of deportment, that true standard of rectitude which alone can bestow happiness here and felicity hereafter. Hence are the compasses the most prominent emblem of virtue, the true and only measure of a Freemason's life and conduct.
LEVEL In Freemasonry, the Level is a symbol of equality; not of that social equality which would destroy all distinctions of rank and position, and beget confusion, insubordination, and anarchy; but of that fraternal equality which, recognizing the Fatherhood of God, admits as a necessary corollary the Brotherhood of Man. It, therefore, teaches us that, in the sight of the Grand Architect of the Universe, his creatures, which are at an immeasurable distance from him, move upon the same plane; as the far-moving stars, which though millions of miles apart, yet seem to shine upon the same canopy of the sky. The Level teaches us that all men are equal, subject to the same infirmities, hastening to the same goal, and preparing to be judged by the same immutable law.
JACHIN Comes from two Hebrew words meaning "God will establish."
BOAZ Comes from the Hebrew meaning "in strength."
COLUMNS Are symbolical representations of the two pillars, which stood on the Porch of King Solomon's Temple.
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© The Regular Grand Lodge of England 2005