In an 1860s Masonic print, U.S. Founding Father and Freemason George Washington is surrounded by portraits of Masons Andrew Jackson and the Marquis de Lafayette, as well as biblical scenes and Freemason symbols.
Washington wears the ritual Masonic apron, modeled on those of stonemasons. To Freemasons, the apron symbolizes innocence and sacrifice. The trowel in his right hand, another traditional masonry tool, symbolizes the spreading of brotherly love.
Washington himself has become something of an symbol to the brothers of his order, said Mark Tabbert, director of collections at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.
"From the Masonic point of view, he exemplifies the virtues and morality that Masons strive to live up to."