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Blue Blanket

The Lodge of Journeymen, in the city of Edinburgh, is in possession of a blue blanket which is used as a banner in Masonic processions. The history of it is thus given in the London Magazine: "A number of Scotch mechanics followed Allan, Lord Steward of Scotland, to the holy wars in Palestine, and took with them a banner, on which were inscribed the following words from the 5lst Psalm, the eighteenth vers, 'In bona voluntate tua edificentur muri Hierosolymae,' meaning'ln Thy good pleasure build Thou the walls of Jerusalem.' Fighting under the banner, these valiant Scotchman were present at the capture of Jerusalem, and other towns in the Holy Land; and, on their return to their own country, they deposited the banner, which they styled The Banner of the Holy Ghost, at the altar of St. Eloi, the patron saint of the Edinburgh Tradesmen, in the church of Saint Giles. It was occasionally unfurled, or worn as a mantle by the representatives of the trades in the courtly and religious pageants that in former times were of frequent occurrence in the Scottish capital. "In 1482, James III, in consequence of the assistance which he had received from the Craftsmen of Edinburgh, in delivering him from the castle in which he was kept a prisoner, and paying a debt of 6,000 Marks which he had contracted in making preparations for the marriage of his son, the Duke of Rothsay, to Cecil, daughter of Edward IV, of England, conferred on the good town several valuable privileges, and renewed to the Craftsmen their favorite banner of The Blue Blanket. ''James's queen, Margaret of Denmark, to show her gratitude and respect to the Crafts, painted on the banner, with her own hands, a Saint Andrew's cross, a crown, a thistle, and a hammer, with the following inscription : 'Fear God and honor the king ; grant him a long life and a prosperous reign, and we shall ever pray to be faithful for the defense of his sacred majesty's royal person till death.' The king decreed that in all time coming, this flag should be the standard of the Crafts within burgh, and that it should be unfurled in defense of their own rights, and in protection of their sovereign. The privilege of displaying it at the Masonic procession was granted to the journeymen, in consequence of their original connection with the Freemasons of Mary's Chapel, one of the four men incorporated trades of the city. "The Blue Blanket was long in a very tattered condition ; but some years ago it was repaired by lining it with blue silk, so that it can be exposed without subjecting it to much injury. " An interesting little book was written by Alexander pennecuik, Burgess and Guild-Brother of Edinburgh, and published with this title in 1722 and in later editions describing the Operative Companies of Edinburgh. The above particulars in the London Magazine are found in Pennecuik's work with other details.

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