What is the difference between AF and AM vs F and AM STATES?
AF and AM stands for Ancient Free and
F and AM stands for Free and Accepted Masons.
In actuality, it does
not matter whether you join an AF & AM lodge or an F & AM lodge in the United
In the U.S., every regular lodge is under the
jurisdiction of its state Grand Lodge. Due to the fact that there is no
Grand Lodge Headquarters for each state's separate Grand Lodge, each state's
Grand Lodge is, therefore, its own "headquarters" within that state's
All Freemasons, both AF & AM (which means Ancient
Accepted Masons, as well as F & AM, which means Free and Accepted Masons, trace
their allegorical history back to the building of Solomon's temple in the Holy
Freemasonry was exported to the British Colonies in North
America in the 1730s—with both the "Ancients" (sometimes also referred to as "Antients") and the "Moderns" (as well as the
Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland) which chartered offspring ("daughter")
lodges, and organized various Provincial Grand Lodges.
After the American
Revolution, independent U.S. Grand Lodges formed within each state.
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons versus Free and
From 1751 to 1813, there were actually 2 Grand Lodges in
England. The difference in AF and AM vs F and AM states goes back to a
disagreement between these 2 Grand Lodges in London at that time.
group was called the "Moderns", but was actually the older of the 2 English
Grand Lodges. The other group was called the "Antients", which became
the "Ancients" in AF and AM.
this disagreement, the 2 groups broke into separate Grand Lodges. The disagreement was later healed around 1880, but by that
time, there were lodges and Grand Lodges all over the United States that were
descended from one group or the other, and so each group kept their
corresponding initials with which they were formed, (which is the reason for
which there are small differences within different states' ritual wording and
Grand Lodge By-Laws and procedures).
Most Grand Lodges in the U.S. recognize each other and
treat each other's members as valid Masons.
Also, all of the U.S. Grand Lodges recognize (and are
recognized by) the official Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, Scotland and the
Grand Lodges in most of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Thailand, India,
Prince Hall Masonic Lodge
Historically, the regular (mainstream) Grand Lodges did
not recognize the lodges under the "Prince Hall" Grand Lodges.
Hall Masonic Lodge descends from a lodge of Black Freemasons in Boston begun by a Black
man by the name of Prince Hall.
Prince Hall Free Masonry began during the
War of Independence, when Prince Hall and fourteen other free black men were
initiated into Lodge # 441, Irish Constitution, attached to the 38th Regiment of
Foot of the British Army garrisoned at Castle Williams...now called Fort
Independence, at Boston Harbor on March 6, 1775.
Later, they applied for
and received a Charter from the Grand Lodge of England.
After Prince Hall
passed away, the lodge ceased to function. Many years later, Black Masons
established their own Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge. They subsequently
issued charters to Black men for subordinate lodges.
Today, many Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge are recognized by the
regular (mainstream) Grand Lodges. In other states, they are termed as
Any Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge which
recognized by their regular counterparts are termed as irregular
So, what is the difference between Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons, and Free and Accepted Masons and the members of
Accepted Free Mason states and Free and Accepted Mason states?
The few intrinsic differences between AF and AM vs F and AM
states grand lodges, the AFM grand lodge in South Carolina, and the FAAM in
Washington, D.C., are minimal.
While both AF and AM vs F and AM
states exist, along with AFM states and FAAM in the District of Columbia, (with small differences in ritual
wording, some officer titles, etc.) in essence, these minimal differences are not
as important as the shared brotherhood between all of these groups within the
The only time that this difference might be important is if you purchase a piece of Masonic jewelry, a Past Master apron, a Masonic shirt, Masonic certificate, or other item which is engraved, embroidered or printed with a specific jurisdictional designation.
Some of these items are pre-printed with a specific designation. Therefore, knowing the designation of your particular lodge (AF and AM vs F and AM states, etc.), proves helpful so as not to mis-order an item.