When To Wear The Scottish Rite Cap
If wearing the cap is in good taste and appropriate for a positive Scottish Rite image, it is time to educate the general public regarding the cap, who is wearing it, and the organization it represents.
If the apron is the "badge of a Mason" in the Blue Lodge, the cap can be said to be the public badge of a Scottish Rite Mason. In our Order, the cap is both a prayer cap in the Jewish tradition and a symbol of the Scottish Rite Mason as a soldier in the "Empire of Intellect, Reason, Philosophy, and Wise Morality" (32°). Similarly, a cap was worn by English knights, including the Templars, and was later given a military significance by British regimental soldiers in the 19th century. The Supreme Council adopted the present caps in 1927.
The cap is considered a part of the uniform and is treated as such. Consequently, it must not be removed when the flag is passing, while saying the Pledge of Allegiance, or participating in prayer. On such occasions as the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance or the performance of the national anthem in song or music, the cap remains on the head, and the Scottish Rite Mason places his right hand on his heart. During prayer, the cap remains in place, but the head is slightly bowed and the hands are placed in the "Sign of the Good Shepherd": the left arm folded over the right with fingers outstretched and touching the shoulders comfortably. This dignified position reflects the compassionate spirit of the Scottish Rite in recalling the Good Shepherd as He carried a lamb over His neck, holding its feet with His crossed arms. (See image at left.)
At the Supreme Council's 1999 Executive Session, it was agreed the wearing of the Scottish Rite caps in public should, as stated in the Statutes, Article XV, Sec. 21, be left to the discretion of the Sovereign Grand Inspector General or Deputy in his Orient. The Supreme Council agreed that, if wearing the cap is in good taste and appropriate for a positive Scottish Rite image, it is time to educate the general public regarding the cap, who is wearing it, and the organization it represents.
Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33°
From Forms and Traditions of the Scottish Rite © 2000