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Beginning with a good definition that explains the terms well, AF and AM stands for Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Subsequently, F and AM refer to Free and Accepted Masons. Being a part of any of a specific lodge (particularly AF and AM or F and AM) is not mandatory. Thus, a mason can join either of them in the United States.
Due to a shared jurisdiction of every lodge with that of the state’s Grand Lodge, the headquarters are not distinctively separate. As there is no Grand Lodge Headquarter for individual Grand Lodge, so every Grand Lodge is its headquarters, being confined to the state’s jurisdiction in the United States.
History bears the evidence of crucial occurrences and offers a conception of the events concerning the exact dates. Therefore, the history of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and Free and Accepted Masons traces its roots back to the establishment of Solomon’s temple in the Holy Scriptures.
Our prime concern is Free and Accepted Masons that is the basis of the current discussion. It would be unjust to leave freemasonry undiscussed. Freemasonry was packed and packaged to the British Colonies as is said, in the 1730s. The region is known as North America. That is the place where it all happened. The referential naming is relevant to the sequence of the establishment. “Ancients” occasionally “Antients” and the “Moderns” included the Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland got exported. Subsequently, offspring lodges were engaged and assembled several Provincial Grand Lodges.
Revolution brings innovation and opens gates to many distinctive formations. Likewise, the American Revolution brought the news for the creation of self-sufficient United States grand lodges that were intentionally done within every state.
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons versus Free and Accepted Masons
The years 1751 till 1813 mark the appearance of two respective Grand Lodges, located in England. There then arises a conflict between these two Grand Lodges in London that differentiates “Ancients” from Free and Accepted Masons. Within this division, the newly formed groups were given the titles. One was named the “Moderns” was the older of previously mentioned two English Grand Lodges. Similarly, another group is known as the “Antients” which developed as “Ancients” in AF and AM (Ancient Free and Accepted Masons).
As an outcome of the pertaining disagreement, the two groups disintegrated into distinct Grand Lodges. An initiative later strived to bring harmony between the two by dissolving the disapproval, but it was too late. By then, there were numerous lodges and Grand Lodges organized all over the United States. These lodges were the descendants of each other. Therefore, they withheld their relevant initials that were enacted at the time of their formation. Ultimately, there exist minute differences among the states’ practices and obligations. Akin to this is the difference that dwells among Grand Lodge in terms of laws and legislations. For such particular reasons, many Grand Lodges in the United States realize and deal with one another as Valid Masons.
Upon a similar pattern, the official recognition of US Grand Lodges got promoted by the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Likewise, the Grand Lodges in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Thailand, and also India recognize the Grand Lodges in the United States.
Prince Hall Masonic Lodge
Historically speaking, the mainstream Grand Lodges unappreciated the lodges which were under the supervision of the “Prince Hall” Grand Lodges. One of the reasons may be that the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge remains a descendant of a lodge of Black Freemasons in Boston. It was started by a Black man having the name of Prince Hall.
The War of Independence took several folds. That is the period when Prince Hall Free Masonry had begun. Prince Hall, with the assistance of a dozen and two other free black men, were grouped in Lodge no. 441. Followed by the Irish Constitution that linked to the 38th Regiment of Foot of the British Army barricaded at Castle Williams at Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775. Currently, it is known as Fort Independence. A Charter was issued from the Grand Lodge of England later.
Soon after the death of Prince Hall, the Lodge delayed and ultimately failed to continue its workings. As time passed by, the Black Masons formulated their Lodge, named Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge. Later on, Charters were given to Black men so that they may group subordinate lodges.
Until now, many Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodges were known as affiliates of the regular Grand Lodges in several states. They are fortunately recognized and appreciated. If any Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge is unrecognized by the mainstream coordinate Grand Lodges so, they are called irregular lodges or the non-mainstream lodges.
The state-oriented data provided for determining Grand Lodges are as follows.
AF and the AM States
AF and AM – Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
These twenty-four AF & AM states comprise CO, CT, DE, ID, IL, IA, KS, ME, MD, MA, MN, MO, MT, NE, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, VA, WV, WY.
F and the AM States
F and AM – Free and Accepted Masons
These twenty-five F and AM states contain AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, FL, GA, HI, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, UT, VT, WA, WI.
All Prince Hall lodges are categorically Free and Accepted Masons.
There is one Ancient Free Masons’ state: SC
FAAM – Free and Accepted Masons
The District of Columbia acceptably is F.A.A.M
Here intervenes the complexity of distinguishing Ancient Free and Accepted Masons from that of the members of Accepted Free Mason states. Also, it caters to differentiating Free and Accepted Mason states. The coexistence of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and Free and Accepted Masons with that of AFM and F.A.A.M negates any possible conflict. It is due to the uplift of fraternity that these groups aim to share.
Whereas this difference may not bother apparently, it may have undeniable significance when a purchase gets procured. The items include “a piece of Masonic jewelry, a Past Master Apron, a Masonic shirt, Masonic certificate or something with a jurisdictional designation” Therefore, it is good to have beforehand information about the purchase one is about to order. It eventually eradicates any probability of error and mismanagement.