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EMBLEM

This beautiful and significant word, so familiar to Masons, has historical affiliations with the original idea embodied in "mosaic work," on whch something is said below. Emblem is derived from the Greek prefix en, meaning in, united with ballein, meaning cast, put. The word became applied to raised decorations on pottery, to inlay work, tessellated and mosaic work; and since such designs were nearly always formal and symbolical in character, emblem came to mean an idea expressed by a picture or design. As Bacon put it, an emblem represents an intellectual conception in a sensible image. It belongs to that family of words of which type, symbol, figure, allegory, and metaphor are familiar members.

- Source: 100 Words in Masonry


EMBLEM

The emblem is an occult representation of something unknown or concealed by a sign or thing that is known. Thus, a square is in Freemasonry an emblem of morality; a plumb line, of rectitude of conduct; and a level, of equality of human conditions.

Emblem is very generally used as synonymous with symbol, although the two words do not express exactly the same meaning. An emblem is properly a representation of an idea by a visible object, as in the examples quoted above; but a symbol is more extensive in its application, includes every representation of an idea by an image, whether that image is presented immediately to the senses as a visible and tangible substance, or only brought before the mind by words.

Hence an action or event as described, a myth or legend, may be a symbol; and hence, too, it follows that while all emblems are symbols, all symbols are not emblems (see Symbol).

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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