The symbolism of the veils must be considered in two aspects. First in, reference to the symbolism of the veils as a whole and next as to the symbolism of each veil separately.
As a whole the four veils consisting of four divisions of the tabernacle present obstacles to the neophyte (beginner) in his advance to the most holy place where the Grand Council sits, now he is seeking to advance to that sacred spot that he may receive his spiritual illumination and be invested with a knowledge of the true Divine Name.
But Masonically this divine name is itself but a symbol of truth, the object, as has been often said of all Mason’s search and labor, the passage through the veils, therefore, a symbol of the trials and difficulties that are encountered and must be overcome in the search for and acquisition of the truth.
This is the general symbolism; but we lose sight of it in a great degree, when we come to the interpretation of the symbolism of each veil independently of the others, for this principally symbolizes the various virtues and affections that should characterize the mason, yet the two symbolisms are really connected, for the virtues symbolized are those which should distinguish everyone engaged in the divine search.
BLUE. is the symbol of universal friendship and benevolence, it is the appropriate color of the symbolic degrees. The possession of which is the is the first step in the progress for the search for truth to the now initiated. The mosaic sign of the serpent was the symbol among the ancients of resurrection to life, because the serpent by casting his skin, is supposed to continually renew its youth, it is the symbol here of the loss and recovery of the word.
PURPLE. is a symbol here of union, and refers to the intimate connection of ancient craft and Royal Arch Masonry, hence it is the appropriate color of the intermediate degrees, which must be passed through in the prosecution of the search. The mosaic sign refer to the restoration of the leprous hand to health here again, is the representation of a deceased limb restored to health, we have a repetition of the allusion to the loss and recovery of the word. The word itself being but a symbol of divine truth, the search for which constitutes the whole Science of free masons, and the symbolism of which pervades the whole system from the first to the last degree.
SCARLET. is a symbol of fervency and zeal, and is appropriated to the Royal Arch degree because it is by these qualities that the neophyte(beginner), now so far advanced in his progress, must expect to be successful in his search. The mosaic sign of changing water into blood bears the same symbolic reference to a change for the better, from a lower to a higher state, from the elemental water in which there is no life to the blood which is life itself, from darkness to light. the progress is still onward to the recovery of that which had been lost but which is yet to be found
WHITE. is the symbol of purity and peculiarly appropriate to remind the neophyte who is almost at the close of his search, that it is only by purity of his life that he can expect to be found worthy of the reception of Divine Truth. Blessed- says the great teacher “are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” The mosaic signs now cease, for they have taught their lesson; and the aspirant is invested with the ‘Signet of Truth’ , to assure him that, having endured all trials and overcome all obstacles, he is, at length entitled to receive the reward for which he has been seeking. For the signet of Zerubbabel is a royal signet, which confers power and authority on him who possesses it. So we now see the symbolism of the Veils however viewed, whether collectively or separately represents the laborious, but at last successful, search for divine Truth.