first of the honours of the Court of Honour is the Knight Commander. It
was a designation conceived by Grand Commander Albert Pike to honor men of
outstanding ability and commitment. A Brother must have been a 32° Mason (a
Master of the Royal Secret) for at least 46 months before the Supreme Council
can vote on his nomination for the honour. In order to nominate a Brother, the
Sovereign Grand Inspector General or the Deputy of the Supreme Council in
whose Orient the Brother has his primary membership fills out a form, giving
the Brother's name, Masonic and other history, and the reasons for his
nomination. He then submits the form in advance of the Biennial Session to the
Supreme Council. The vote of the Supreme Council must be unanimous.
should be noted again that the designation Knight Commander of the Court of
Honour (almost always abbreviated as K .:. C .:. C .:. H .:.) is not a Degree.
The K.C.C.H. is not conferred upon a
Brother; he is invested
with it. The best known piece of the regalia of the K.C.C.H.
is the cap (photo above). This description of the cap is adapted from
the Statutes of the Supreme
cap is circular, 3 I/8 inches high, and made of heavy red grosgrain silk.
There is a band of red grosgrain silk, l 1/4 inches wide finished, with a cord
welt above and below the band. There is gilt wire lace at the top and bottom
of the band, leaving an interval of 9/16 inch showing on the band between the
lace. On the center, in front, is a representation of the Knight Commander
jewel. A regulation gilt bullion double over cord is fastened at the lower
edge of the cap with a gold-plated metal button, embossed with a double-headed
Jewel of the K.C.C.H. is a Passion Cross, Fitched. It is a Passion Cross
because the arms are not of equal length, and it, therefore, resembles the
cross on which Jesus of Nazareth suffered the Passion. The term "Fitched"
refers to the treatment of the ends of the bars. See "Cross Patee Fitched"
in Appendix IV, "The Rite Crosses." The cross rests on a circle of
laurel leaves. On the cross is a raised gold circular plate, with gold beads
around the circumference. The plate is enameled in white. On the white plate
is a green trefoil (a shape like a shamrock). Around the trefoil, in letters
of gold, is KT.-.COMM.-.COURT OF HONOUR. The jewel is worn on the left breast,
suspended by a white ribbon.
trefoil is a very old symbol of spirituality. Essentially, it illustrates the
reconciliation of opposites and, thus, represents unity or balance. It reminds
us of such triads as body-mind-spirit, active-passive-interactive,
Father-Son-Holy Ghost, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, and many others. In the most
simple terms, the trefoil reminds us that there is a connection between the
human and the divine and that it is our task to be aware of that connection.
is another emblem of the K.:.C.:.C.:.H.:. called the "Synthetic
Badge." That word seems
strange to our ears, accustomed as we are to synthetic fabrics and other
materials. It conjures up for us thoughts of something a little inferior or
artificial. But when this badge was designed, more than 150 years ago, there
were no synthetic fabrics or foods. The jewel is called the "Synthetic
Badge" because it synthesizes, brings together, the teachings of Masonry.
Or, in the words of the ritual, "so called because like the points of the
compasses, the tenets of Masonry are contained within its bounds. It is a
rectangle of gold, one inch long and one-half an inch wide, in the form of a
double square [see facing page]. In it are imbedded three sparkling diamonds,
in the form of a triangle with three equal sides, the apex pointing upward.
Its form will remind you of the first steps in Masonry: the oblong square of
the step of the Entered Apprentice. Its gold base, the metal of the sun,
itself a symbol of intellectual light and knowledge, as its genial warmth is
of loving-kindness and sympathy, may suggest to you your continuing duty to
spread the blessings of education and abound in charitable deeds; while the
triangle of reflected light will impress you and each of us that the highest
teachings of the fraternity of Freemasons is symbolized by the triangle. The
badge sums up all Masonry, and we should wear it as a constant reminder of our
duty to be a true Mason.
final piece of regalia of the K.:.C.:.C.:.H.:. is the sword belt. Just as the
bestowal of the belt was the final act of making a knight, so it is in this
are the new Scottish Rite Jewels available today!
special "Thanks" to our Secretary and Brother Jerry Stotler, who is
also a K.C.C.H. Brother Jerry supplied the pictures and descriptions of
his hat and jewel for our museum. Thanks Jerry!