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.
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 not...it 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....
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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