On June 29, 2021 Terre Haute Lodge No. 19, F&AM became the first Lodge in the state of Indiana, and only the third Lodge in the United States, to register a custom designed tartan with The Scottish Register of Tartans. The process began in 2015 with the planning and design of a custom tartan that could be worn by Lodge members, honorary members, and other designees of the Lodge. The design was created by Worshipful Brother Matthew E. Lowe, PM, OSM and approved by the Lodge at the December 2015 stated meeting. The design is intended to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Terre Haute Lodge through a visual representation of the craft, the membership past and present, and the history of the Lodge.
The Blue field represents the Lodge and is the traditional color representing “Truth”, which is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. (Wedgewood was selected as a nod to our English speculative roots.) Three white stripes represent the three Degrees of Masonry and was selected to represent the Lambskin Apron and the purity of our intentions. Two gold stripes represent the Lodge’s two centuries of service. (Gamboge, a dye made from saffron used to give the golden hue to the robes of Buddhist monks, was selected to represent the esoteric mysteries of the Fraternity.) Two charcoal gray stripes bounding each gold stripe represent the stones of our operative past, as well as the fervency of our members who have perpetuated the Lodge for nearly 200 years. There are two black stripes bounding each white stripe in memory of our departed Brethren on all Degrees and to remind us of our own mortality. Four purple stripes are placed in recognition of the 4 members of the Lodge who have worn the “Purple of our Fraternity” and served as Grand Master, namely Lucius H. Scott (Pennsylvania 1865-66), Robert Van Valzah (Indiana 1878-79), Thomas B. Long (Indiana 1889-90), and John Ross Hunter (Indiana 1939-40).
The other two U.S. Lodges who have registered tartans are Sandia Mountain Lodge No. 72 F&AM (New Mexico), and Park Avenue Lodge No. 362 F&AM (Tennessee). There are other registered Masonic tartans, with the most notable and widely used being the Freemasons’ Universal, which was registered in 2003 by the Grand Lodge of Utah. The Freemasons’ Universal tartan is commercially available and the Grand Lodge of Utah has allowed its use by anyone with masonic membership. The Scottish Register of Tartans is an entity of the Scottish Government that was established by an act of the Scottish National Parliament in November of 2008 and was launched on February 5, 2009. The searchable database maintained by The Scottish Register of Tartans contains thousands of tartan designs and predates the founding of the Register by incorporating tartans formerly recorded in the Scottish Tartans Society, the Scottish Tartans Authority, and the Scottish Tartans World Register.
The Scottish Register of Tartans is a division of the National Records of Scotland.Tartan Products will soon be available to members, honorary members, and other persons so specified by Terre Haute Lodge, No. 19 F&AM.
To view the registration and search other Tartans, visit The Scottish Register of Tartans, here.