Please check them out and then go onto the other brilliant photo sets.
- the doors of the Zavala State Archives and Library Building, Austin
- statues of Sam Houston and Anson Jones in front of the Zavala Building
- a Masonic Temple in Dallas
- Scottish Rite mosaic and sculpture of the double-headed eagle
- a window in the General Land Office with a pair of six-pointed stars
- a Ten Commandments monument which led to a Supreme Court Case, decorated with an All-Seeing Eye
This last monument has an interesting history. Presented to the city in 1961 as a kind of weird tie-in to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, it led in 2005 to
a United States Supreme Court case involving whether a display of the Ten Commandments on a monument given to the government at the Texas State Capitol in Austin violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
The court ruled it didn’t. What intrigued me about the monument is that the tablets have another image of the tablets contained within them, in a strange lettering. Looking into this I came across the following post.
The Ten Commandment Tablets actually pictured in the DeMille film used a classic Reformed Christian Church version of Ten Commandments divided into four and six. The chiseled lettering was “early Canaanite type”.
Of course, those pictured in the DeMille film are those pictured in miniature on this monument. The writer of the first post I ran across is Avrahaum Segol, a Jewish activist who sees the monolith and the film as an attempt to Christianize the Ten Commandments and promote Christianity. He may have a point. I’ve actually written about Segol before. He was the guy who
claims the swastika shape of Wesley Acres in Decatur pays homage to the German scientists who came to nearby Huntsville after World War II and designed the rockets that put Americans on the moon.
Segol’s got a hard graft ahead of him:
Between 1955 and 1985, more than 150 monoliths were dedicated in 34 states and Canada. (here)
In any event, a less shrill history of the FOE monuments can be found here:
Fraternal Order of Eagles stated mission is to unite fraternally for mutual benefit, protection, improvement, social enjoyment and association, all persons of good moral character who believe in a Supreme Being to inculcate the principles of liberty, truth, justice and equality, to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization and to provide for its government as it’s Constitution, Laws, Rituals, by-laws or other rules and regulations may from time to time provide, and to promote the general welfare, the Fraternal Order of Eagles ordains this constitution.
The officers of a Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie are: Worthy President, Worthy Vice President, Junior Past Worthy President, Secretary, Treasurer, Worthy Chaplain, Worthy Conductor, Trustees, Inside Guard, and Outside Guard.
The mission and officers listed here lead me to believe the FOE was influenced a great deal by Freemasonry. Phoenix Masonry furnishes an initiation ritual. If you’re familiar with Masonic ritual, you can decide for yourself if it influenced the FOE, or not.
Anyway, check out the pics and clamor for more!