The Difference Between F and AM Vs. AF and AM

         The Difference Between F and AM Vs. AF and AM  

F and AM states are different from AF and AM states. But what are the differences between them? What do they mean? In this article, we’ll shed more light on them.

AF and AM are for Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

F and AM are for Free and Accepted Masons.

In the United States and most parts of the world, it does not matter if you join an F & AM lodge or an AF & AM lodge.

Every lodge in the United States is under a Grand Lodge in the state where it is located. There is no Grand Lodge Headquarters for the separate Grand Lodge in each state. So, the Grand Lodge is the same as the Headquarters for each state jurisdiction.

All Freemasons (F & AM and AF & AM) have their history from the building of the temple by King Solomon in biblical times.

In the 1730s, Freemason was exported introduced to North America. The Moderns and the Ancients or Antients started to bring up daughter lodges and Grand Lodges were organized in various provinces.

After the American Revolution occurred, there was a formation of independent Grand Lodges in each state.  

Origin of the F and AM vs. AF and AM differences

There were 2 Grand Lodges in England from 1751 to 1813. There was a disagreement between these two lodges. A group was called the Moderns which was the older British Grand Lodge. The other group was called Antients, also known as Ancients who were the originators of AF and AM.

The disagreement led to a break of the two groups. Each group spawned their separate Lodges and Grand Lodges all over the United States. In 1880, the disagreement was resolved. The Lodges and Grand Lodges retained their initials. That disagreement is why Lodges have little differences in the wordings of their rituals and differences in By-Laws and procedures.  

The Grand Lodges in the United States recognize each other and treat each other with respect. Members are regarded equally as Brothers and Masons.

All the Grand Lodges in the United States are recognized by other Grand Lodges in Scotland, England, Thailand, Ireland, India, and other countries in Europe, Africa, and South America.

Prince Hall Grand Lodge   

The Prince Hall Grand Lodge was not recognized initially by other regular Grand Lodges. The Lodges under these Grand Lodge were also not recognized by the other Grand Lodges.

The Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge has its origins from a lodge consisting of Black Freemasons in Boston. The lodge was started by a man named Prince Hall.

The Prince Hall Free Masonry started during the War of Independence. It started on March 6, 1775 when Prince Hall and 14 other free blacks were initiated into Lodge 441 of the Irish Constitution. The Lodge was located at Fort Independence, Boston Harbor. Lodge 441 was attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot of the British Army. Later, the Lodge received a charter from the Grand Lodge of England.

When Prince Hall died, the Lodge did not exist again. Some years later, black masons started the Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge began to issue charters to other black men to create subordinate lodges.

Most Prince Hall Grand Lodges are now affiliated with mainstream Grand Lodges. But, there are still some Prince Hall Grand Lodges that are not recognized by mainstream Grand Lodges. These unrecognized Grand Lodges are known as irregular Lodges.

States in the United States of America according to how their Lodges are classified

AF & AM states (Ancient Free and Accepted Masons)

The following states have their lodges termed AF & AM Lodges:

Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin  

F & AM states (Free and Accepted Masons)  

The following states have their lodges termed F & AM Lodges:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming

AFM state (Ancient Free Masons)

There is only one AFM state. It is South Carolina.

FAAM (Free and Accepted Masons)

The District of Columbia is a FAAM district 


The differences between the F & AM Masons and AF & AM Masons, AFM, and FAAM are very little.

The major differences are in officer titles and little differences in ritual wordings. These differences do not deter or bear any impact on the brotherly love that members of the fraternity share for each other.

But you need to be careful when purchasing items that are printed or engraved with jurisdictional designations. These items could include Masonic aprons, Masonic regalia, Masonic jewelry etc.

Some of these items may have a designation that is different from that which is used in your Lodge. It’s good to know the designation of your lodge, so you don’t order items with the wrong designations.    


  • Avery Germany

    Thank you Kindly for that information. It was very helpful.

  • Lisa Hsmmonds

    My Grandfather owned a sandwich shop in Clanton Alabama. His key ring fob was played AF & (Masonic Symbol) AM. Any thoughts?

  • Bro. Shemwell

    As a Army veteran and proud Prince Hall Mason, I want to mention something you left out. Within the Black American community, that Prince Hall lodges (PHA) are all labeled as “F&AM” and if you see that the PHA lodges are labeled as “AF&AM” then those are the clandestine lodges that have nothing to do with modern day legally chartered Prince Hall Grand Lodges. There was a Mason back in the day by the name of “John G. Jones” that was kicked out of Prince Hall because of unmasonic conduct and instead of going on with his life. He started his own Grand Lodge and started issuing charters with no power to do so. I repeat that his brand of Prince Hall lodges are “CLANDESTINE” and are usually labeled as AF&AM or sometimes instead of PHA they label themselves PHO (Prince Hall Origin). My brothers & fellows, please take this knowledge with you and know the difference before making any unwarranted judgements of Prince Hall Masonry.

  • George Jordan

    Wisconsin is F&AM. The AF&AM list above should be corrected.

  • Charles Persinger

    Utah was an AF&AM Grand Lodge from inception in 1872 until 1897 when the “A” was dropped. There had been no Grand Lodge action requiring this change, it just happened.

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