Masonic symbols are usually easily identified on tombstones. The Masons, also known as Freemasons or Free and Accepted Masons, is a fraternal society that originated in the Middle Ages from stonemason and cathedral builder guilds.
The most common Masonic symbol seen on tombstones is the square and compass, the tools used by masons and carpenters. The square represents morality and the compass represents measuring the ability to wisely conduct actions. The letter G is often in the center of the square and compass. The G may mean God, geometry, gnosis, or the ancient Hebrew letter with the value of 3.
Members are awarded degrees, some as high as 32 and 33.
The Masons have several auxiliary organizations, called appendant bodies. The Order of the Eastern Star is open to both women and men but is probably known more as a women’s branch. The Eastern Star symbol is a five-pointed star with the bottom point pointing downward toward the manger. The meaning of the letters FATAL is reportedly revealed only to members but I have read that they represent the words Fairest Among Thousands Altogether Lovely.
This Order of Eastern Star symbol has its acronym, OES.
The boys Masonic branch is the Order of DeMolay and the girls branch is the Order of Job’s Daughters or the Order of the Rainbow.
Another group connected to the Masons is the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, usually known as the “Shriners.”