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Green Degrees

Knight Masonry contains those degrees which are worked within a council of Knight Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Council of Knight Masons.

The Grand Council of Knight Masons was formally constituted in Ireland in 1923 to look after the degrees which were previously worked by Royal Arch chapters, commanderies (known as preceptories in Europe and Canada) of High Knights Templar and even a Rose Croix chapter. These “Green” degrees are ancient and are, in essence, Old Testament based. The degrees are three, in addition to the chair degree. They are:

•   Knight of the Sword (formerly the Red Cross of Daniel or Babylonian Pass);

•   Knight of the East (formerly Jordan Pass);

•   Knight of the East and West (formerly Royal Order); and

•   Installed Excellent Chief;

and are not to be confused with the degrees which may have similar names in other Orders. Despite this, you will find much similarity in the settings and plot elements with the Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch, the Order of the Red Cross of the chivalric orders, and the Scottish Rite’s 15° (Knight of the East), 16° (Prince of Jerusalem), and 17° (Knight of the East and West). These are all, to some extent, related as they all are based on the legend of Zerubbabel (in Hebrew: זְרֻבָּבֶל‎) and feature Kings Cyrus (in Farsi: کوروش بزرگ) II (a/k/a Cyrus the Great or Cyrus the Elder), Darius (داریوش) I and Josiah (in Hebrew: יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ), and the return of the Jewish Diaspora from Babylonian captivity circa 536 B.C.E. Perhaps most familiar to you will be the wine-women-king debate featured in degrees throughout Freemasonry.

The Knight Mason degrees have their origins to the earliest records of Masonry. In fact, there is some indication that the Knight Mason degrees may have been developed even before the degree of Master Mason.

The history of the Judean people, as contained in the Roll of the Law, including the Books of Ezra/Esdras and Jeremiah, records three outstanding episodes intimately connected with Ancient Irish Universal Masonry:

•   The building of King Solomon’s Temple (Craft Freemasonry);

•   The repairs of the Temple by King Josiah (Irish Royal Arch Freemasonry); and

•   The building of the Second Temple by Zerubbabel after the return of the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin from their seventy years of captivity in Babylon, circa. 536 B.C.E. (Knight Masonry).

So, by receiving the degrees of Knight Masonry, a man is completing a sequence intimately related to the other teachings of Freemasonry.


Candidates wear the apron of a Holy Royal Arch Freemason and no jewel, until they have received the Knight of the East and West. All Knight Masons who have received the degree of Knight of the East and West wear the apron and jewel of a Knight Mason, irrespective of the degree being conferred or in which the council is open; they wear the sash of the respective degree.

Knight Mason Jewel

Knight Mason Apron


(see the Past Excellent Chief jewel below)

The apron is white lambskin, bordered in red, with three green rosettes.



Holy Royal Arch Companion Apron

The apron is white lambskin, bordered in red, with the Royal Arch triple-tau, equilateral triangle and circle centred on the flap.


Knight of the Sword


Knight of the East

Knight of the East and West

Past Excellent Chief Jewel



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This site was last updated 01/04/21