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'Borrowed' emblems


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Occasionally, emblems of Freemasonry are adopted or 'borrowed' by other organisations, thus making their regalia appear similar to that of Freemasonry.

Below is a jewel from the Order of Free Gardeners, a Friendly Society having its roots (no pun intended) in Scotland and the North of England. Once having an enormous membership, it declined between the World Wars, almost terminally with the Welfare reforms of the late 1940s.

In the centre of the jewel is the familiar square and compass, but with a half-open pruning knife in the angle of the square. Additionally, there is a representation of (I assume) the VSL, the Sun and Moon.



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Phew - I don't think I've seen so many Free Gardeners ' jewels before!

There are some marked similarities to Masonic jewels, in particular the rainbow and dove jewel which is similar to the Scottish Royal Ark Mariners' emblem.

Anyway, moving on.... One we've possibly all see at one time or another is the Junior Order of United American Mechanics - a square, compass and arm clutching a hammer. The latter arrangement is an obvious imitation of the 'G' sometimes seen in the S&C.


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Any ideas what the AONS stands for, anyone?

A.N.S. and 0 refer to the three Grand Master Gardeners (Adam, Noah and Solomon) and the Olive sign and grip of a Master Gardener.

On their aprons they are often depicted in a different order ie ANOS or AONS etc.

Edited by Humber
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