The Secrets of the Boy Scout Fleur De Lis

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners

I recently gave a presentation to a Group of Boy Scouts from Homer Illinois, Troop 42 at Homer Lodge #199. I called it the Secret Meaning of the Symbols of Scouting. I decided that I liked my research so much that it would make a great article for the Midnight Freemasons, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together.

The primary identifying symbol of the Boy Scouts is the Fleur de Lis. This symbol was adopted by Sir Robert Baden – Powell due to it being the symbol used by soldiers who qualified for the position of Scout (reconnaissance specialist) for the 5th Dragoon Guards, which was the unit he commanded at the end of the 19th Century. In 1907, Baden-Powell made brass fleur-de-lis badges for the boys attending his first experimental ‘Boy Scout’ Camp at Brownsea Island. In his seminal book, Scouting for Boys, he referred to the motif as “the arrowhead which shows the North on a map or a compass” and that “It is the Badge of the Scout because it points in the right direction and upward… The three points remind you of the three points of the Scout Promise, being Duty to God and Country, helping others and keeping the Scout Law. 

In addition to the Fleur De Lis, the emblem also has two stars, which stand for truth and knowledge. The Eagle stands for the Freedom that the United States affords. The shield on the Eagle represents a Scout’s readiness to defend that Freedom. The scroll is the smile on a Scout’s face as he does a good turn. The knot reminds a Scout to “Do a Good Turn Daily”.

We can contrast the Fleur de Lis with the Masonic Square and Compass. The Square and Compass is the primary symbol used by and which identifies Freemasons. We proudly display it on our rings, regalia, clothing, cars, and pretty much anywhere we can put it. We adopted this symbol because we grew out of the medieval trade guilds of the operative Stone Masons, who were free to travel in these times because their craft was in such high demand. 

By the square, A mason is taught to “Square his actions by the square of virtue with all mankind”. The compass, exemplifies the wisdom of our conduct. We are taught as Freemasons to “Circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds”. When these two tools are placed together we note that the “G” representing God is the central focal point, and that Peace and Harmony is the result.

Like Freemasonry, the Fleur de Lis can be traced back to ancient Babylon. The Sumerians worshipped three primary Gods, based upon Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz. These three gods represented a trinity for them. Nimrod was also known by several names. One of which was “Kronos”, which means ‘The Horned One’. The horn is a symbol of power or might. Genesis 10:8-10 tells us: “And Cush begat Nimrod: he bagan to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar”. 

The meaning of the name, “Kronos”, “The Horned One”, as applied to Nimrod fully explains the origin of the Fleur De Lis. Three horns frequently occurred among the Nineveh sculptures, the gigantic Horned man-bull representing the great divinities in Assyria. The same word that signified a bull, also signified a ruler or prince… BAAL. BAAL was also know as Marduk, and was associated with the Sun and was a Solar God. Semiramis was Nimrod’s wife, and was associated with the name Astrate or Ishtar. Astrate put on her own head a bull’s head as a Symbol of Royalty. She being the consort of BAAL or Marduk was a “Moon Goddess”, and referred to as the “Queen of the Heavens”. After Nimrod’s death, Queen Semiramis gave birth to an illegitimate son. She claimed that he was Nimrod reborn, and named him “Nimrod – Tammuz”. Another name for him was “Cupid”, which means desire. He was named as such because Queen Semiramis lusted after him. She married him, and Tammuz was forever associated with being a child god. In the depictions of him, he was often seen holding the ‘heart shaped fruit of Persea in his hand.’ Thus, Tammuz or Cupid became associated with being the “God of the Heart”. This is where Cupid, who we associate with Valentine’s Day, got his start.

The three horned cap which both Baal and Ishtar or Nimrod and Semiramis are depicted wearing became a sacred emblem, and the power connected with it was said to be of celestial origin. The three horns represented the power of the Trinity. The idea of a Trinity would start in ancient Babylon and would spread to Egypt, where we have Osiris, Isis and Horus, Jupiter, Venus and Adonis in the Roman myths, and God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit (taking the place of the feminine). It is because the symbol represented Royalty, and the holy bloodline of the trinity, that is was adopted later by the French Kings for their heraldry.

In Genesis 9:1, God told humankind: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’ However, Nimrod was in opposition to this. Genesis 11:4-9 states: Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’ But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Who would have been building this tower? Those who were adapt in working with Stone, ie: The Stone Masons who later would become known in Medieval times as Free-Masons, because as I explained earlier, they were allowed to move from city to city to practice their craft. The symbolic tools which we use to teach our lessons would have been first employed in the massive building projects of Ancient Babylon, including building the tower of Babel. Going back to the idea of the Fluer-De-Lis being the arrowhead which shows north on a map or compass, you see that it has a total of six points, 3 pointing up and 3 pointing down.

The Fleur-De-Lis connects to the Square and Compass, in that from above, it has the exact shape of the six pointed star. In Freemasonry, The blazing star (six pointed star) is described as one of the ornaments of a lodge, as being a hieroglyphical representation of Divine Providence. In more ancient traditions, the blazing star is represented as consisting of two equalateral triangles interlocked. The triangle with the apex pointed down was emblimatical of the creator, with the apex pointing down toward the created universe, whereas the triangle pointing up was representative of man, pointing toward God, the creator. When intertwined as a six pointed star, they would form a single figure, the symbol of unity between God and his creation. So the Square and Compass and the Fleur – de –Lis are both representations of the Blazing Star, and they both originated in Ancient Babylon. Is this a coincidence? I leave that to you to decide.


WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. When he’s not busy enjoying Masonic fellowship, Darin spends his time as a DM for his children’s D&D campaign, reading, golfing, watching movies and listening to music. You can reach him by email at

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