Not so secret are the famous secret societies (and fraternal orders) that can be found in most countries. Some are benign brotherhoods, others are hotbeds of insurgency. The Nazis, for instance, grew out of such a society and opposed the Freemasons, which was another of those societies.
Secret societies prohibit anyone who is not a member from knowing their rituals and agendas. But they are not entirely in the shadows. Many flaunt their coats of arms and other graphic icons. And below are pages from a scrapbook I found (c.1900) made by an anonymous collector of secret stickers (all embossed and chromolithographed).
Secret societies are often associated with the ancient idea of Mannerbund, the all-male “warrior-society,” which may also account for the fascinating signs and symbols used as part of their secret regalia.
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