Freemasonry is an old institution, with lots of history and many accomplishments to be proud of. However, just as with any good idea, people will soon latch onto it as a way of boosting themselves at the expense of others. These spurious groups often claim true Masonic heritage, but have no proof. Accordingly, these organizations become known as “Clandestine” Lodges amongst regular Freemasons.
One such group is the International Free and Accepted Masons. The group works primarily in the African American community. It claims to be “a world-wide fraternity. Organized in 1950 by the late Dr. William V. Banks; a very prominent Attorney and a Mason with very high ideals. His dream became a reality at the birth of this new Masonic Organization. ” However, it is simply a claim, as no recognized Grand Lodge currently engages in fraternal communication with this group.
The group was a prodigious purchaser of fraternal headwear. They especially enjoy fezzes, which mainly sport a square and compass surmounting a key. The name and location of the Lodge is usually embroidered as well. This hat comes from Sons of Solomon Lodge No. 220, in Trenton, NJ, and was donated to the museum by Tyler Anderson, of NM.