I ask of each Mason, of each member, of each brother, that he shall remember ever that there is upon him a peculiar obligation to show himself in every respect a good citizen; for after all, the way he can best do his duty by the ancient order to which he belongs is by reflecting credit upon that order by way in which he performs his duty as a citizen of the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt

In the United States each state has a Grand Lodge that supervises the lodges within that state and is sovereign and independent within that jurisdiction. The Provincial Grand Lodge of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania was the first of these, founded in 1731, and also the third Grand Lodge ever formed around the world after England and Ireland. These are commonly referred to as the “regular” or “mainstream” Grand Lodges. There is no national Grand Lodge. All regular Grand Lodges in the US are in mutual amity with each other and with UGLE.

In addition, most States also have a sovereign and independent Prince Hall Grand Lodge that is or was predominantly African-American. For many years the mainstream Grand Lodges did not recognize Prince Hall Freemasonry and considered them irregular. Within the last 20 years this situation has changed and today most mainstream Grand Lodges have come to recognize their Prince Hall counterparts and vice versa. The few exceptions are in the former Confederate states (except Virginia and North Carolina), as well as West Virginia, where the mainstream Grand Lodges do not yet recognize their Prince Hall counterparts. The Grand Lodge of Texas has recognition with its Prince Hall counterpart, but does not yet allow intervisitation of members.

Due to a 19th-century argument and a resulting schism, not all Prince Hall Grand Lodges recognize each other (see Prince Hall National Grand Lodge), and generally the mainstream Grand Lodges have followed the lead of their Prince Hall counterparts when it comes to recognizing Prince Hall Grand Lodges in other states. UGLE has also granted recognition to Prince Hall Grand Lodges where they are recognised by their mainstream counterparts.

Throughout the US there are also numerous bodies that claim to be Masonic Lodges and Grand Lodges, but which are not recognized as such by UGLE, the mainstream Grand Lodges, nor their Prince Hall counterparts. These are deemed to be irregular.

(the source/read more: Wikipedia)


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