- Sep 2006
- Topeka, Kansas
Yes, and no. The Freemasons do indeed use the Eye of Providence, as do many other historical groups. However, there is no hard evidence that this was intended to represent a masonic symbol. From what I have read, the use of the eye on the great seal predated its use by the Freemasons. The eye as a symbol of God predated use by either. The seal is surrounded by the words "Annuit Coeptis" ("He approves our undertakings"). The pyramid has 13 steps representing the original states. It is unfinished, representing future growth of the country. The implication is that God (ie "divine Providence") is watching over the country and it's growth.Is it really a Masonic symbol?
FDR personally approved the design of the one dollar bill (not the seal which was designed by committee in 1776-1782). He was a Mason, and it is certainly possible that it was chosen because the symbolism engendered by the seal was in line with Masonic ideas. However, this is mere speculation and there is no evidence that the design of the seal or its use on the bill had Masonic origins.
Incidentally, the History Channel had an entire episode of Decoding the Past dedicated to this on last weekend. Maybe it will be re-run for those interested.