Sharp-eyed and discerning FOTM’s beloved writer Sagebrush asks what pin Newt Gingrich was wearing on his lapel at the GOP presidential candidates’ debate on CNN last night.
Commenters on a Ron Paul website, “Ron Paul Flix,” claim that the pin was pixelated in pics of Newt at the debate, making it hard to see the pin, but the rest of his face is not pixelated. Here’s an example, taken by Reuters. Even when I’d enlarged the pic by 200%, the pin is still hard to see. FOTM co-founder Steve found this clearer picture of Newt:
It sure looks like a Free Mason pin. Here are some examples from an online FreeMason store:
So what’s a “past master”? This is what Wikipedia says:
“The senior officer of a Masonic Lodge is the Master, normally addressed and referred to as the “Worshipful Master” [....] The Worshipful Master [...] directs all of the business of his lodge, and is vested with considerable powers without further reference to the members. He also presides over ritual and ceremonies.
The office of Worshipful Master is the highest honor to which a lodge may appoint any of its members. [...] At the conclusion of his term of office, a Worshipful Master becomes known as a Past Master.”
No one seems to know for certain whether Newt’s pin is Masonic. On this blog, opinions diverge. I hope some member of the press would ask Newt that question.
Prompted by commenter Al, I’ve looked at the photo again, using Windows’ “Paint” feature, and outlined the pin area with a rectangle.
If you save the pic to your hard-drive, then click on “Paint,” you can select the “magnify” function and look at the pin magnified. My conclusion now is that the pin Newt’s wearing in this pic at the CNN debate does resemble the Commander-in-Chief flag pin sold at the Mount Vernon Shop. This is what the flag pin looks like: