Of all the colors, yellow seems to be the least important and the least general in Masonic symbolism. In other institutions it would have the same insignificance, were it not that it has been adopted as the representative of the sun, and of the noble metal gold. Thus, in colored blazonry, the small dots by which the gold in an engraved coat of arms is designated, are replaced by the yellow color. La Colombiere, a French heraldic writer, says (Science Heroique, page 30) in remarking on the connection between gold and yellow, that as yellow, which is derived from the sun, is the most exalted of colors, so gold is the most noble of metals.
Portal (Des Couleurs Symboliques, page 64) says that the sun, gold, and yellow are not synonymous, but mark different Degrees which it is difficult to define. The natural sun was the symbol of the spiritual sun, gold represented the natural sun,.and yellow was the emblem of gold. But it is evident that yellow derives all its significance as a symbolic color from its connection with the hue of the rays of the sun and the metal gold. Among the ancients, the Divine Light or Wisdom was represented by yellow, as the Divine Heat or Power was by red. And this appears to be about the whole of the ancient symbolism of this color.
In the old instructions of the Scottish and Hermetic Degree of Knight of the Sun, yellow was the symbol of Wisdom darting its rays, like the yellow beams of the morning, to enlighten a waking world. In the Prince of Jerusalem, it was also formerly the characteristic color, perhaps with the same meaning, in reference to the elevated position that Degree occupied in the Rite of Perfection, and afterward in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Years ago, yellow was the characteristic color of the Mark Master's Degree, derived, perhaps, from the color of the Princes of Jerusalem, who originally issued charters for Mark Lodges; for it does not seem to have possessed any symbolic meaning. In fact, as has been already intimated, all the symbolism of yellow must be referred to and explained by the symbolism of gold 2th of the sun, of which it is simply the representative.
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