The fraternity of Freemasonry is one of the oldest and largest in the world, and to many people is shrouded in mystery. The dedication of Shriners – who are Masons – to children is known in the world over. Masons & Shriners are respected internationally. Shriners are Masons, but not all Masons are Shriners. The Shrine has never been referred to as a secret organization. It Has long been recognized as the playground of Masonry and the majority of its activities are public and include activities such as parades, fund raising and public appearances. The official emblem of the Mystic Shrine is the Cresent. It is composed of two Royal Bengal Tiger Claws united in a gold setting by a Keystone. Inside the Keystone – on the Keystone’s face – is the head of a Sphinx. Originally behind the Cresent were a pyramid, urn, and star. Today, below the Cresent hangs the Star of Bethlehem. Depicted above the Cresent is a Scimitar from which the Cresent and the Star are suspended. The Star of Bethlehem is a clear reference to the “Star in the East” observed at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ.