Civil War-Era Freemason Banner with Hand-Sewn Insignia, Circa 1859-1865

This is a Civil War-era triangular banner with hand-sewn Freemason insignia. The banner is constructed of cotton. It has a rich red field, a hand-sewn white insignia on the hoist end, and a white cotton headband. The banner is from an unknown maker, but is dated to 1859-1865.

The insignia on the pennant is the Square and Compasses- the single most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry. The symbol shows the architect’s tools joined together with a “G” at the center. The 1866 Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor lists the “three great lights of Masonry” as the Holy Bible, square, and compass. Duncan illuminates their importance: "…the Holy Bible is the rule and guide of our faith and practice; the square, to square our actions; the compasses, to circumscribe and keep us within bounds with all mankind, but more especially with a brother Mason."

According to Duncan, the “G” represents geometry, “the first and noblest of sciences…the basis upon which the superstructure of Masonry is erected. By geometry, we may curiously trace nature through her various windings to her most concealed recesses… [and] discover the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe, and view with delight the proportions which connect this vast machine.”


Red cotton banner with white hoist and hand-sewn Freemason insignia. Flag is in very good condition. Hoist end has only a little wear at top and bottom corners. Fly end shows small loss and fraying at tip.

Banner is archivally presented, mounted on tan acid-free linen, presented in a custom-built black and gold wooden frame. Framed dimensions: 51" Hx 101" W x 3" D.

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