This Masonic apron was one of two owned by Brother George Washington. When Marquis de Lafayette came to America at the age of 20 and joined George Washington’s army for the Battle of Brandywine in 1777, the American cause had become his cause.
The affection each man held for the other is legendary. So, too, is the legacy of Masonic history developed through that affection. For many years, Masons and non-Masons believed that the white silk apron known as the Lafayette Apron had been embroidered by Madame Lafayette and presented to Brother George Washington by Brother Lafayette in August of 1784. This cannot be documented as fact. It has, however, been ascertained that the apron did indeed belong to Brother Washington, and current research suggests that it was made in China.
The apron was presented to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania by the Washington Benevolent Society on July 3, 1829, and is now on display in the Grand Lodge Museum at the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia. It is a study in symbolism. For example, the apron border colors of red, white and blue are the national colors of both the United States and France.
In preparing the following, the late Brother Frank W. Bobb, Grand Lodge Librarian and Curator, has used those meanings most widely accepted by Masonic scholars in interpreting the symbolism of the Washington Apron.
Click here to download a PDF explaining the symbolism found on the apron.