Weird History 13 Secret Symbols Hidden in Plain Sight in Washington, DC  

Amanda Sedlak-Hevener
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America's capitol is full of symbols. But not all of those images are purely patriotic. For every starred and striped flag and noble bad eagle, there are hidden symbols that lurk in every corner of Washington, DC. Once you know what you're looking for, you'll start seeing these secret symbols everywhere.

Masonic symbols in Washington, DC are some of the easiest to spot - just look up at the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, or the Pentagon. Perhaps that's not surprising, considering how many of the Founding Fathers were Masons. But other DC symbols might represent less mainstream groups. Some people believe that symbols of the occult, the Illuminati, and Satanic societies are dotted throughout the city.

A few of these rumors are easy to debunk. Other stories of secret symbols in Washington, DC are grounded in fact. Regardless of what you believe, these tales add an especially intriguing dimension to this historic region.

The Washington Monument Is A Satanic Obelisk


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Photo: Daniel Mennerich/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Obelisks have been built since ancient times. But why did Robert Mills and the Washington National Monument Society choose this shape to memorialize America's first president? Some people believe that obelisks are phallic symbols that have great meaning to the Freemasons. The Washington Monument is 555 feet tall, or 6,660 inches - close to the biblical "mark of the beast," 666.

However, skeptics point to the classical resurgence of the 18th century as a more logical explanation than Satanism for the monument's shape. The Founding Fathers took inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman architecture for their young country, and the monument fits right in with the city's other buildings.

The Streets Form A Pentagram With The White House At Its Apex


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Photo: BuzzFeed/via Pinterest

If you look at a map of Washington, DC, you'll see that the area encompassing the White House, its lawn, and many of the surrounding streets looks like a pentagram, or five sided star. It's not an exact one; a perfect pentagram has five equal sides, and the one formed in DC does not.

According to some, an inverted pentagram has Satanic meanings, and in fact, one with a goat's head drawn within it is the symbol of the Church of Satan. People who believe that this symbol truly does appear in the map of DC refer to it as the "goat head" and think that Freemasons also played a part in the city's design. However, Pierre L'Enfant, who laid out the streets on this grid, wasn't a mason. It's possible that he thought this design would make the city easy to navigate.

Pennsylvania And Maryland Avenues Are Aligned To Specific Days


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Photo: UpstateNYer/via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Falling in June and December, the solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year. Many ancient structures were designed to align with these dates, as well as those of the equinoxes, which fall in between in March and September.

Some people claim that DC's Pennsylvania and Maryland Avenues are aligned with cross-quarter days that fall in between the solstices and equinoxes. These days align with the beginnings of four different "fixed" zodiac signs, according to astrologers: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Cross-quarter days were reportedly important to the Freemasons, too.

The Grounds Of The Capitol Building Form An Owl


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Photo: jerryandgod.com/via Pinterest

If you look closely, the layout of the Capitol Building's grounds resembles an owl. The pathways, gardens, and even the placement of the building all form the animal when viewed from a particular angle.

An owl has several important connotations - it is associated with the Greek goddess Athena. According to mythology, Athena is the daughter of Zeus, and she is the goddess of wisdom, something that was seemingly important to the Founding Fathers.