The Forget-Me-Not the emblem of the German Craft
The Forget-Me-Not and it’s world-wide significance has been attested in the years since it’s adoption. In the United Kingdom today, the tens of thousands of brethren who wear this symbol, display it with meaningful pride. But why? What relevance has this little flower to do with Masonry?
The story behind this beloved emblem of the Craft
In early 1934, soon after Hitler’s rise to power, it became evident that Freemasonry was in danger. In that same year, the “Grand Lodge of the Sun” (one of the pre-war German Grand Lodges, located in Bayreuth) realising the grave dangers involved, adopted the little blue Forget-Me-Not flower as a substitute for the traditional square and compasses.
After increasing repression against Masonic groups, finally on August 17, 1935, with Nazi propoganda linking Freemasonry with Jews. Freemasonry was outlawed which by the end of the war led to the possible death of over 200,000 Masons.
Masonry forced underground
It was felt the flower would provide brethren with an outward means of identification while lessening the risk of possible recognition in public by the Nazis, who were engaged in whole sale confiscation of all Masonic Lodge properties and the arrest of Masons. Freemasonry went undercover, and this delicate flower assumed its role as a symbol of Masonry surviving throughout the reign of darkness.
During the ensuing decade of Nazi power a little blue Forget-Me-Not flower worn in a Brother’s lapel served as one method whereby brethren could identify each other in public, and in cities and concentration camps throughout Europe. The Forget-Me-Not distinguished the lapels of countless brethren who staunchly refused to allow the symbolic Light of Masonry to be completely extinguished.
Freemasons in Germany after Hitler
When the ‘Grand Lodge of the Sun’ was reopened in Bayreuth in 1947, by Past Grand Master Beyer, a little pin in the shape of a Forget-Me-Not was officially adopted as the emblem of that first annual convention of the brethren who had survived the bitter years of semi-darkness to rekindle the Masonic Light.
At the first Annual Convent of the new United Grand Lodge of Germany AF&AM (VGLvD), in 1948, the pin was adopted as an official Masonic emblem in honor of the thousands of valiant Brethren who carried on their masonic work under adverse conditions. The following year, each delegate to the Conference of Grand Masters in Washington, D.C., received one from Dr. Theodor Vogel, Grand Master of the VGLvD.
Thus, did a simple flower blossom forth into a symbol of the fraternity, and become perhaps the most widely worn emblem among Freemasons in Germany; a pin presented ceremoniously to newly-made Masons in most of the Lodges of the American-Canadian Grand Lodge, AF&AM within the United Grand Lodges of Germany.