The “compass and square” of the Freemasons is one of the most recognised designs associated with this secretive society – although it is far less secret today than it once was. The symbol is depicted with or without the letter G.
It represents the tools used by the original stone working builders and architects. There is no doubt that this society has a passion for symbols and secret designs. And … as the original “Great” architects and builders it seems obvious that they should. Just like metal forging in Japan, the manufacture of gunpowder in China, glass working in Venice – architecture and the secrets of building were once knowledge worth the “fortunes of kings” and definitely worth keeping secret from others.
In the case of the original Masons, they were the master builders of their time and their knowledge of arches, keystones and Cement (lime-mortar and vesuvian-mortar) was considered almost magical to be shared only with other masons. So important was their knowledge that there are records from 1375 that as Masons they were free to travel from project-to-project at a time when most people were severely restricted in their rights to movement. It is this “freedom” that defined them as Free(stone)masons.