The Square and Compass in Cinema
The Square and Compass is often used in popular culture as a method of adding mystique or intrigue to a character or situation. This trope can be seen almost as far back as there has been color in movies! Depending on the film, the Square and Compass has been used to portray both goodwill or nefarious intentions. As brothers of the Craft, we know that nothing nefarious comes with our brotherhood. However, it is interesting to see how the Square and Compass is used in cinema.
One of the earliest uses of the Masonic emblem in cinema can be found in the 1930 French film L'Âge d'or. In the film the protagonist, played by Gaston Modot, can be seen using his patent of membership for the “International Goodwill Society” as a manner to avoid arrest. Close inspection of the patent reveals it to be a Masonic diploma. In the classic western Tombstone (1993), the Square and Compass makes two appearances. Once, as the key fob to the County Sheriff's pocket watch, and then again as a pendant worn by “Jack Johnson” played by Buck Taylor. In a more recent example, the film National Treasure (2004) revolves around a man's search for Templar gold, which has been hidden and protected by Freemasonry. At the end of the movie, it is revealed that the police inspector pursuing him is member of the Craft through the masonic ring he is wearing.
These are just a few of the many examples that can be found of Freemasonry in pop culture. While the use of our emblem can be misconstrued, it's important to remember the true meaning of our Square and Compasses. Do you know of any other great sightings of the Square and Compass in media? Let us know your favorite!
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The Bodies of the Scottish Rite, sitting in the Valley of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acknowledge and yield allegiance to the Supreme Council, 33°, of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, whose Grand East is in Lexington, Massachusetts.