Enough people have asked me and my brothers about each part of our uniform, that I thought I’d go ahead and put it down here in case we get asked again. Of the many traditions Friendship Lodge maintains, one of my favorites is the Worshipful Master providing the uniform for his officers. I enjoy the sense of unity and camaraderie it inspires, while helping to set the tone for that year for all the brothers of the Lodge. Not to mention you’ll probably never find a Mason saying, “no thank you, I’ve already got enough lapel pins”. The fraternity’s fascination with them is one of the eternal mysteries of Freemasonry.
First the tie(s). When speaking to my prospective officers last year I asked them, “so do you want to be wearing a necktie or a bowtie?” Support for the bowtie was overwhelming, so long as it wasn’t a pre-tied bowtie. Curiously enough most necktie supporters were Past Masters, and so goes the logic for the 2018 uniform – PM’s and honored friends and Brethren get the long tie. I was very particular to keep the color palette in a familiar range of rich golds and deep blues. The repeated zia pattern is reminiscent of the circumpunct (a symbol of profound meaning to Freemasons) and represents the theme of 2018, Universality.
I’ve noticed that our lapel pin is a particular curiosity for brothers and non-Masons alike. Our octagonal pin this year is emblematic of several things: a single cell of a honeycomb, but also rendered to suggest a perfect 3 dimensional cube, or even an open book. Gold (effect) pins are reserved for installed officers, while silver (effect) pins are available to Friendship’s members and closest friends. In recent years the beehive has become a particularly relevant Masonic symbol to Friendship Lodge. Historically it is an emblem of rebirth and renewal, as well as industry. Last year Worshipful Brother Schuman gifted his officers with a honey bee lapel pin to complement a floral jacquard necktie. I enjoyed being able to wear parts of my uniform out in the world and at work, knowing it would be recognized by a Brother, but still being able to be otherwise incognito.