A term in heraldry signifying any emblem used to represent a family, person, nation, or society, and to distinguish such from any other. The device is usually accompanied with a suitable motto applied in a figurative sense, and its essence consists in a metaphorical similitude between the thing representing and that represented. Thus, the device of a lion represents the courage of the person bearing it. The oak is the device of strength; the palm, of victory; the sword, of honor; and the eagle, of sovereign power. The several sections of the Masonic sodality are distinguished by appropriate devices.
1. Ancient Craft Masonry. Besides the arms of Speculative Freemasonry, which are described in this work under the appropriate head, the most common device is a square and compass. 2. Royal Arch Masonry. The device is a triple tau within a triangle. 3. Knight Templarism. The ancient device, which was borne on the seals and banners of the primitive Order, was two knights riding on one horse, in allusion to the vow of poverty taken by the founders. The modern device of Masonic Templarism is a cross patte. 4. Scottish Rite Masonry. The device is a double headed eagle crowned. holding in his claws a sword. 5. Royal and select Masters. The device is a trowel suspended within a triangle, in which the allusion is to the tetragrammaton symbolized by the triangle or delta and the workmen at the first Temple symbolized by the trowel 6. Rose Croix Masonry. The device is a cross charged with a rose- at its foot an eagle and a pelican. 7. Knight of the Sun. This old Degree of philosophical Freemasonry has for its device rays of light issuing frown a triangle inscribed within a circle of darkness, which "teaches us," says Oliver, " that when man was enlightened by the Deity with reason, he became enabled to penetrate the darkness and obscurity which ignorance and superstition had spread abroad to allure men to their destruction."
Each of these devices is accompanied by a motto which properly forms a part of it. These mottoes will be found under the head of Motto.
The Italian heralds have paid peculiar attention to the subject of devices, and have established certain laws for their construction, which are generally recognized in other countries. These laws are: That there be nothing extravagant or monstrous in the figures.. That figures be never jointed together which have no relation or affinity with one another. That the human body should never be used. That the figures should be few in number, and that the motto should refer to the device, and express with it a common idea. According to P. Bouhours, the figure or emblem was called the today, and the motto the soul of the device.
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