Headstone Iconography: Documentation and Interpretation of Fraternal Emblems at Greenwood Cemetery, Orlando


The Greenwood Cemetery established in the 1880's, and is one of the largest cemeteries both owned and operated by the City of Orlando. Occupying approximately eighty acres of land and holding 80,000 known interment record cards, it is the oldest cemetery still in use for the City of Orlando. Research on the Greenwood Cemetery's headstone iconography is important because this type of information has not been previously documented or studied. A few studies have been conducted by the Genealogy Society to document ancestry, as well as documenting the history of prominent people buried within the cemetery; however, very little mention is given to the iconography. Although some headstones are illegible due to a number of factors such as erosion, natural disasters and vandalism, the Greenwood Cemetery is ideal for research because most of the headstones are inscribed with a written record, often giving names and dates. The purpose of this study is to (1) document the fraternal organization symbols that are found on the Greenwood Cemetery's headstones; and (2) interpret the cultural meanings of each fraternal symbol. The focus of this study is limited to fraternal organization iconography; however, there are various other symbols (religious, occupation, etc) found throughout the Greenwood Cemetery. The data collected from the headstones have revealed the following fraternal iconography: Academic Fraternal Groups (AFG), American Legion (AL), Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (AAONMS), Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE). Benevolent and Patriotic Order of DOES (BPOD), Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE), Daughters of lsabella (DOI), Daughters of Rebekahs (DOR), Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Daughters of the Nile (DON), Free and Accepted Masons (F&AM), Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), International Alliance of Theatrical State Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (BEW), Kiwanis International (Kl), Knights of Columbus (KC), Knights of Pythias (KOP), Ladies Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars (LAVFW), LIONS International (LI}, Loyal Order of the Moose (LOOM), Mosaic Templars of America (MTA), National Rifle Association (NRA), Order of the Easter Star (OES), Rainbow Girls (RG), Rotary International (RI), Sisters of Pythias (SOP), Strates Memorial Club (SMC), United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and the Woodmen of the World (WOW). This thesis will cover each of the fraternal organization's symbols, provide a historical background on what each symbol represents within the organization, and explain why the fraternal organization headstone iconography in Greenwood Cemetery is important to the heritage of the City of Orlando.


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Thesis Completion





Schultz, John


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program



Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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