The Letter G in the Square and Compasses

I don’t have many niggles about Freemasonry, however, the one that stands out for me, in particular, is the constant use of the letter “G” intertwined with the square and compasses on pictures, logos and masonic items within the English constitution.

Square compasses

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely fine if you are within the Scottish Rite constitution, but why use it in others? I get quite frustrated when I see English lodges and Freemasons using the symbol in pictures on social media and on websites, do they actually know it’s a Scottish Rite thing and nothing to do with our constitution under UGLE?

One of the most debated things I’ve come across in Freemasonry is the debate about what the G stands for. I have heard “God” “Great Architect of the Universe” “Gnostic” and “Geometry” to name but a few. I’ve even read that it’s interchangeable between “God and Geometry” Having read quite a few books on the subject it would seem that everyone has their own opinions without really knowing the factual answer, although it would appear that it’s meaning has changed through time.

Through my reading I’ve found out that the “G” wasn’t used intertwined with the square and compasses until around 1850 and was in fact a design by a jeweller for use on pins and badges,and nothing to do with any masonic authority. So the now common sight of the letter G within the square and compasses wasn’t actually used until around the mid 18th century.

In the UK there are 3 separate and distinct Grand lodges, Ireland, Scotland and England. Both Ireland and England do not use the G within the square and compasses,¬†however, in Scotland they do. Before anyone asks about Wales, it falls under the constitution of UGLE and is divided into 2 provinces although I believe it used to be 3. In England and Ireland and Wales the G is displayed in lodge rooms although it’s position can vary.

Anyway I never intended this to be a long drawn out blog as much of the information contained in it can be easily researched by everyone, after which you can draw your own conclusions.Plus I like to encourage learning.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, please feel free to leave any comments below. Until next time continue to enjoy your Freemasonry.

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