Integrity, Respect and Friendship at Lodge of Fraternity

Eagle-eyed Patrick Wilkins noticed a guest's jewel was not right, and without hesitation discretely assisted addressing the issue

The symphony of colour at a Royal Arch exaltation often remains in the minds of Freemasons for the rest of their lives.  After being exalted, a new Companion wears a breast jewel with a white ribbon. On becoming a Principal, a new jewel with a maroon ribbon is worn and when appointed as a Provincial or Grand Officer, the ribbon becomes three coloured i.e. light blue, red and dark blue.

One interpretation of the meaning of these three colours is that red represents wisdom and is used for the robes of the First Principal, dark blue represents strength and is used for the robes of the Second Principal and light blue represents beauty and is used for the robes of the Third Principal.  

There may be other meanings, with variations depending on the history, traditions and ritual of each Chapter, all of which aim to encourage a desire for more knowledge among Royal Arch Masons.

The Royal Arch is the only other Order jewel permitted to be worn in Craft lodges and the light blue colour must always be on the inside i.e. nearest the heart and in doing so mirrors the colour sequence of the collarette. However, at the Installation Meeting of the Lodge of Fraternity No. 5916 on 30th September 2023, an eagle-eyed Patrick Wilkins, who was initiated in 1977 and is a Grand Officer in both the Craft and Royal Arch, noticed the tri-coloured ribbon a guest was wearing was not right as it was instead light blue, dark blue and red.

Great reliance had been placed on the description of a ‘Masonic Royal Arch Provincial Breast Jewel’ by an experienced Companion who needed a replacement and had purchased online from a supplier of masonic regalia but he had not noticed that the jewel he received had a miscreant ribbon.

Respecting the guest’s predicament and acting with integrity, Patrick explained the ribbon did not belong to any Order in Freemasonry and, in friendship, kindly offered a replacement jewel with the correct tri-coloured ribbon from his own collection. Patrick said “It is wrong for suppliers to sell regalia advertised as masonic when it is not. They should not be doing this.”

Further online searches revealed two other regalia suppliers were also selling Royal Arch Provincial breast jewels with the same wrongly tri-coloured ribbon, so it is important to always be careful when purchasing regalia and remember ‘caveat emptor’ (let the buyer beware) still applies. Even better, buy with confidence from Masonic Regalia Online (


Top: The correct Royal Arch Jewels (L-R) - RA Companion, RA Principal, RA Provincial

Left: The correct Royal Arch Collar

Right: An Incorrect RA Provincial Jewel