The Master’s Emblem Explained for Masons

The year 2017 marked the 300th Anniversary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. It is also just over 200 years since the emblem to distinguish Worshipful Masters and Past Masters of a Lodge became official in a Constitution. Since that description of the emblem in the Constitution there have been many efforts to explain “What is that emblem?” Only now, with the publication of The Master’s Emblem Explained for Masons is there an answer based on the dictates of right reason.

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Review by MW Bro. David J. Cameron, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Canada in the Province of Ontario. Published in ‘Reflections’ Newsletter Vol. 30 No. 4, 2017

What is that metallic symbol on the Master Mason’s apron? Brethren will tell you it is a Greek Tau, a level, or two squares back to back, but through diligent research W. Bro. Marshall Kern has determined its true provenance.

In this short but fascinating book W. Bro. Kern, a Past Master of Victoria Lodge No. 56, Sarnia District, takes us through his researches, starting with a blinding insight he had while attending a lecture on a totally unrelated subject. He delves into the standard resources, noticing that nothing pertinent can be found in any American resources. He finds confirmation of his thesis in the history of the Union of the Ancients and Moderns in England. Included are two talks of different lengths, both suitable for presentation in lodge as Masonic education, as well as a bevy of endnotes so that you can pursue further research yourself.

Review by Wor. Bro. J.P. Gomez, WM of Doric Lodge No. 316 GRC and owner of

The term “esoteric” has been getting a lot of flak lately due to misuse of the word. What exactly is the meaning of it? Merriam-Webster defined it as something that is… “designed for or understood by the especially initiated alone” or “requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group”.

If you are a Freemason who has attained the rank of a Worshipful Master and perhaps you’re looking for a deeper meaning in your journey — something that is truly esoteric, I strongly recommend this book by my good friend Worshipful Brother Marshall Kern. He is a Past Master of Victoria Lodge No. 56 and a Fellow of the College of Freemasonry.

I have known Brother Kern since 2012 when I was still and assistant officer. Although we haven’t personally met each other at the time, one can tell that he is one of those people who are just genuinely warm, friendly, and generous. He’s always there to give advice and assistance, especially during difficult times. He is the embodiment of Freemasonry.

On the 3rd Wednesday of September 2019, he drove for over 3 hours covering the distance of almost 300 km to attend my Installation (and another 3 hrs drive to go back home). He brought me a special personal message and a copy of his book. I consider the book and his friendship treasures that I will keep in my heart forever.

Review by Bro. Trevor W. McKeown of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076. Excerpts as published in ‘Ars Quatuor Coronatorum’ Vol. 133, pages 322 – 324

“This is a small review for a small but perhaps significant book. First, it is refreshing to read a book about some aspect of Freemasonry that doesn’t claim to have proven some startling revelation or new interpretation. The author, Marshall Kern, is honest: he does not claim to have uncovered historical proof, or even to have a theory, only claiming he has an hypothesis.”

“I believe that W. Bro. Kern has done Freemasonry a valuable service and opened the door for much further research.”

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About Marshall Kern

Who is Marshall Kern?

The author of The Master’s Emblem Explained for Masons is Marshall Kern. Marshall Kern is a Past Master of Victoria Lodge No. 56, and honoured as a Fellow of the College of Freemasonry by the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario.