George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte Masonic Hand Symbols?

We've all seen the pictures of  the military and political leader of France, Napoleon Bonaparte,  (1769-1821) with one hand tucked inside his tunic or jacket. It appears to be a trademark of his, a signature that makes him unmistakable, and has become the personification of Napoleon as he is known. What's not well known is why he did it, was it just for the sake of the painting because the artist couldn't draw hands? Or was it because he had a pain in his stomach, or perhaps a deformed hand that he wanted to hide. Or...was it something else?

Although it is not widely spoken of, Napoleon was involved in Freemasonry, as were other members of his family and those he knew as his compatriots. Freemasonry was fairly widespread in the late 1700's and consisted of many prominent people of the time, so there is little reason to think he wasn't. Even if he himself was not a member, he would undoubtably been exposed to many who were, and would likely know of some of their symbolism. I suspect he was a member, as do many researchers, to say he wasn't is as unfounded as to say he was. The proof may infact lie in his poses with his hand in his tunic. That may have been due to his involvment in "The Craft"  and his way of identifying his membership to those "on the square"

Napoleon Bonaparte was not the only leader who has used the symbol of the hiddden hand, in fact that pose turns up quite frequently in poses of world leaders and other influential persons, many of whom may have been members of the Masonic Lodge. Among those are  George Washington, Karl Marx, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Marquis de Lafayette, Salomon Rothschild and more, including even Joseph Stalin.

Is this further proof that the "illuminati' exist and have existed forever? Proof that many of these men share something, perhaps a philosophy, a plan? Or is it coincidence, a mere pose used to make painting a portrait easier? or because they had cold hands.....or perhaps their hand inside their coats holding a gun? It's difficult to say, but according to the Vigilante Citizen the hidden hand, is a symbol of a hand sign learned by initiates to The Royal Arch Degree (the 13th degree of the Scottish Rite or the 7th degree of the York Rite) of the Masonic Lodge. According to the article, this degree is  the degree of Freemasonry where the Mason learns "the sacred  name of God."

It's quite possible that these men were members of The Royal Arch Degree, and were using this symbolism to say just that. We know that George Washington was a Mason, and no doubt one who had attained a high degree, his use of the hand in the tunic would certainly lend credence to this theory. Masons are big on symbolism....big.....they love to slide their symbols into pictures and images, to be recognized by those in the know, and overlooked by others.  Whether through a handshake, a look, a tilt of the head, the position of their feet, Masons send quiet signals to others who understand what to the rest of us are nothing to notice. It's also in architecture, where Masonic Symbolism can be so overt to those who know, in some cities, one would think almost every building is a Masonic Temple.

Coincidentally....or is interesting to note that Napoleon didn't always appear to hide one hand, nor did George Washington, but they did tend to hold their hands in similar poses, such as these....first...Napoleon......Oddly enough, in this picture of Napoleon, aside from the similarities to Washington's pose, Napoleon appears to be lifing his coat to show off his crotch.....Ha Ha...just an observation..but I am digressing.....sorry....

And now...George an obviously Masonic portrait (Gilbert Stewart 1796) with the pillars in the background, notice his hand on the papers on the table in a similiar pose to Napoleon above. In the picture below, Washington is holding his sword in much the same manner as Napoleon in the first photo above.

Sometimes when a person gets looking at this stuff, it can become easy to read into it more that there is....perhaps both Washington and Napoleon liked to look at maps and point at stuff....perhaps they suffered from poor circulation and liked to keep one hand warm at a time....Perhaps artists who painted Washington were influenced by previous artists portraits of Napoleon.  Perhaps the artists didn't like to paint hands, which looks apparent in the first picture of Washington above, one hand in his tunic, the other behind his back...or was he trying to tell us that Washington was hiding something....what is behind his back? A secret? Both hands are hidden in that picture, is he hiding two secrets? In the other portraits both men seem to be referring to a document of some kind, a map perhaps, or a plan....what is hidden has been revealed?

Regardless, the similarities remain, but to what end? So what if they were both members of the Royal Arch, or wanted others to think they were? That is perhaps what I find most interesting about the symbolism in these paintings, other paintings as well as historic and modern designs. Why is there such an interest in demonstrating the "masonic influence" Is it to leave a legacy, or to tell those that come after them what they knew and when?

Your guess is as good as mine.....
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