The Triple Tau is the the only purely Masonic banner and takes pride of place in the East, between the four principal banners.
The Triple Tau is formed by three such crosses meeting at their bases, resembling the letter T resting on the bar of an H. This compound character, signifies ‘Templum Hierosolyma’, the Temple of Jerusalem.
The Mystical Lecture tells us that the Tau is a derivation of the Hebrew word ‘tov’, meaning a ‘mark, etching, or scrawl’. It is said to have been the sign placed on the foreheads of the righteous, who were saved from the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.
It was later used to mark the foreheads of those acquitted by judges, or those who returned unhurt from the field of battle; a mark of ‘favorable distinction’, or ‘mark of life’. The Mystical Lecture also informs us that union of the three Taus, alludes to the grand tri-unison, by which the ‘horrific, gloomy, and un-shapen chaos was changed into regular form and peaceful existence.’
In our Banner, the Triple Tau is situated in the centre of a Triangle and a Circle, both emblems of Deity. The triangle has great symbolic and spiritual significance, a sacred ‘delta’; referring to the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, and a symbol of divine union. It is also an emblem of the mysterious triune, representing the attributes of God omnipotence (all-powerful); omnipresence (all-pervading); and omniscience (all-knowing). The circle is described in the Mystical lecture as:
‘The emblem of eternity, as it has neither beginning nor ending, it may justly be deemed the type of God without beginning of days, or ending of years and is continually reminding us of that great hereafter, when we hope to enjoy eternal life.’