Message From the South
The Blue Forget-Me-Not
The blue forget-me-not was worn by faithful Freemasons of Germany during the Nazi tyranny so that they might know one another without revealing themselves to the bitter enemies of the Craft prior to and during World War II. It is a meaningful Masonic symbol, tested by persecution, of fidelity to those principles which set Freemasonry apart from all other fraternal associations. The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Canada in the Province of Ontario met on April 24-26, 1973. Among the visitors was M: E: Gunter Gall, Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of Germany. The Grand Z. M:E: Leo J. Gent called upon Companion Gunther to address his Grand Chapter. What he said follows:
GRAND HIGH PRIEST OF GERMANY
M. Ex. Comp. Leo J. Gent, Grand Z., requested that M. Ex. Comp. Gunther Gall address his Companions at this Convention. The following is a summary as written by R. Ex. Comp. James Turnbull of this address. “M. Ex. Comp Gunther Gall gave a very interesting talk on the development and progress of Freemasonry in Germany, the Netherlands, certain areas of France and Switzerland, with extensive details and statistics. However, some very enlightening historical facts concerning Freemasonry in Germany were explained. He stated that soon after Hitler’s rise to power, as early as 1934, it became apparent that Freemasonry in Germany was in great 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. When the German military or the Gestapo inquired, “Was ist das?” the simple reply was “Eine Blume” (a flower). It was felt that 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 should have some readily recognizable means of identification. Throughout the entire Nazi era, a little blue flower in a 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.
When in l947, the Grand Lodge of the Sun was reopened in Bayreuth, a little blue pin, the shape of a forget-me-not, was proposed and adopted as the official emblem of the first Annual Convention of those who had survived the bitter years of semi-darkness, bringing the Light of Masonry once again into the Temples. A year later, at the first Annual Convention of the United Grand Lodges of Germany, A.F. and A.M. the pin was adopted as an official Masonic emblem honoring those valiant brethren who carried on their work under adverse conditions. Thus did a simple little flower blossom further into a meaningful emblem of the Fraternity, becoming perhaps the most widely worn pin among Freemasons in Germany. This conclusively proves that the symbol chosen by the Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not is truly one Òof fidelity to those principles which set Freemasonry apart from all other fraternal associations.”
The Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not was officially formed on January l, l972. It was the outgrowth of many years of discussions among prominent and concerned Masonic educators and writers. These men were concerned about the lack of recognition of those Masons who were devoting their lives and resources to Masonic education and writing. It appeared, rightly or wrongly, that the plaudits of the leadership of the Craft were reserved for the many Masonic ritualists. Others appeared to b e ignored. The Society of Blue Friars honors one Masonic author each year; others have to wait. Masonic educators, are the men who are keeping the Body of Freemasonry alive and vital. They deserved to be honored in some manner by the Craft. The Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not is attempting to give them the recognition to which they are so richly entitled. The recipient is judged by a team of Masonic writers and educators before he is chosen for membership in the Brotherhood. His dedication to the whole of Freemasonry and his fellowman determines his qualifications. This Award cannot be purchased. His name must be presented by a member of the Brotherhood, then pass a unanimous ballot of the membership commission. There are no fees or dues paid by the recipient. In every sense, membership in the Brotherhood is an Award for unselfish service to Freemasonry and mankind. This certificate, stationery, and pin were designed by Allen E. Roberts, the Secretary, who also absorbs the expenses of the Brotherhood. He does it because he pictures the structure, or Body, of Freemasonry this way:
Ritual = Skeleton (or framework)
Symbolism = Heart and brains
Benevolence = Soul
Philosophy = Bloodstream
Jurisprudence = Muscles
History = Flesh (or binder)
The ritual, while important, consists of but one-sixth of the whole. Every part of this Body must be nourished or it will be crippled. The Body, as a whole, has what the world has always needed, and what it still needs today. BUT, it must be a whole, uncrippled, Body. This is what is far too often overlooked. Freemasonry doesnÕt need to change. Its belief in the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God cannot be improved upon. What we must do is treat the Body as we should. Then, once again, Freemasonry will be a vital and important force in our communities and the world. This is why we consider The Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not as an important association within the Body of Freemasonry.