From The East – April 2018

 

Dear Brothers,

On my daily travels to work I have the opportunity to go through large sections of farmland and pastures.  During the spring months, there is a flower by the side of the road which always catches my attention when I go by, known as Myosotis sylvatica.  It is more commonly called “The Forget-Me-Not”, which is taken from the German

“Das Vergissmeinnight”.

Several years ago, RW Howard I. Back II (Deuce) gave me a Forget-Me-Not lapel pin, which I have seen several other members of our lodge also wearing.  Attached to the pin was a card, which I have saved, explaining the Forget-Me-Not lapel pin’s meaning to Freemasonry.  The card reads “As early as the year 1934, soon after Hitler’s rise to power, it became apparent Freemasonry was in danger.  In the same year, the German Grand Lodge of the Sun in Bayreuth (one of the pre-war German Grand Lodges) realized the imminent problems facing them and elected to wear a little blue flower, the Forget-Me-Not, in lieu of the traditional Square and Compasses, as a mark of identity for Masons.  It was felt the new symbol would not attract attention from the Nazis, who were in the process of confiscating and appropriating Masonic Lodges and property.  Masonry had gone underground and it was necessary that the Brethren have some readily recognizable means of identification.

Throughout the entire Nazi era, a little blue flower in the lapel marked a Brother.  In the Concentration Camps and in the cities a little blue Forget-Me-Not distinguished the lapels of those who refused to allow the light of Masonry to be extinguished.

In 1947, when the Grand Lodge of the Sun was reopened in Bayreuth by Past Grand Master Beyer, a little blue pin in the shape of a Forget-Me-Not was proposed and adopted as the official emblem of the first annual convention of those who survived the bitter years of semi-darkness, bringing the Light of Masonry once again into the Temples.

At the Annual Covent of the United Grand Lodge of Germany, A.F. & A.M. in 1948, the pin was adopted as an official Masonic emblem honoring those valiant brethren who carried their work on under adverse conditions.  At the Grand Masters Conference in the United States, Dr. Theodor Vogel, the Grand Master of the newly-formed UGL, A.F. & A.M., presented one of the pins to each of the representatives of the Grand Jurisdictions with which the UGL, A.F. & A.M. enjoyed Fraternal relations.

Thus, did a simple flower blossom forth into a meaningful emblem of the Fraternity and become perhaps the most widely worn pin among Freemasons in Germany.”

 

Fraternally,

Daniel E. O’Brien

Worshipful Master

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