Why do Shriners drive those little cars? Reviews

There’s something funny about a grown man squeezed into a tiny car.

Primarily when that car is shaped like a wooden log. And when that grown man is wearing a saber-toothed-tiger-skin smock, a caveman wig, and a furry hat with horns — just like in The Flintstones.

That’s why the Araba Shriners keep getting invited to Southwest Florida parades. But why do Shriners drive those little cars? If this has always confused you, don’t worry cause this article will clear everything up.

Who Are Shriners

Shriners are members of Shriners International, a fraternal organization that traces its roots back to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Established in 1870, Shriners International is an independent body of Freemasonry, and its members are Master Masons. The organization is renowned for its philanthropic endeavors, particularly its commitment to providing specialized medical care for children.

Critical aspects of Shriners and Shriners International include:

Philanthropy: Shriners are known for their extensive philanthropic work, primarily focusing on supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children. These hospitals specialize in providing pediatric medical care, particularly for orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, among other conditions. The care is offered irrespective of a family’s ability to pay.

Membership: To become a Shriner, a man must first be a Master Mason in good standing with a recognized Masonic lodge. Shriners International welcomes members from various backgrounds and professions. The organization is characterized by camaraderie, and members often engage in social and community activities together.

Symbols and Regalia: Shriners are easily recognizable by their distinctive red fezzes adorned with unique symbols, and they often wear elaborate costumes during parades and events. The fez symbolizes the organization, and each Shriner’s fez is personalized with his name and chapter.

Parades and Events: Shriners are known for their participation in parades and public events, where they showcase their mini cars, colorful costumes, and entertaining performances. These activities serve as a form of outreach and a means to raise awareness and funds for their charitable activities.

Motto: The official motto of Shriners International is “No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help A Child.” This reflects the organization’s commitment to the well-being of children and its belief in the importance of humanitarian efforts.

Global Presence: Shriners International has a worldwide presence, with chapters (called temples) across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, and Asia. Each temple operates independently while adhering to the overall principles and objectives of the organization.

Shriners are dedicated individuals who share a commitment to community service, charitable giving, and supporting children in need of medical care. The organization provides a platform for its members to engage in meaningful philanthropy while fostering a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie among its diverse membership.

Why do Shriners Drive Those Little Cars

Shriners, members of the Shriners International fraternity, are known for driving those distinctive little cars as part of their parades and events. Miniature vehicles, often called “mini cars” or “Shriner cars,” are a tradition that serves several purposes.

Entertainment and Visibility: The small cars are eye-catching and add an element of entertainment to parades and events. Their diminutive size, coupled with the skillful driving of the Shriners, captures the attention of spectators, making the events more enjoyable and memorable.

Promotion and Fundraising: The mini-cars are a promotional tool for the Shriners organization. Shriners increase their visibility in the community by participating in parades and public events. This increased exposure can lead to greater awareness of Shriners’ philanthropic efforts and, in turn, help with fundraising for their charitable activities.

Symbol of Brotherhood: The little cars symbolize camaraderie and brotherhood among Shriners. Driving these vehicles is a shared activity that fosters a sense of unity and friendship among the members. It adds a lighthearted and playful dimension to their gatherings, reinforcing the social aspects of the fraternity.

Connection to Hospitals: Shriners International is renowned for its network of children’s hospitals providing specialized medical care, often at no cost to the patients. Using mini cars allows Shriners to engage with the public, share information about their charitable work, and encourage support for their hospitals.

Tradition and Legacy: The tradition of driving mini cars has deep historical roots within the Shriners organization. It has been a distinctive feature of their parades for many decades. Maintaining such traditions helps connect current members with the organization’s legacy and creates a sense of continuity.

What Are The Distinctive Symbols And Regalia Shriners Are Known For

Their iconic symbols and regalia quickly identify Shriners, significant elements of their identity and traditions.

Fez: The red fez is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Shriners. The fez is adorned with unique symbols, often representing the member’s specific temple or chapter. Each Shriner’s fez is personalized with his individual name and temple affiliation. The fez originates in the organization’s early history and is worn proudly to symbolize membership and commitment to charitable endeavors.

Scimitar and Crescent: The scimitar and crescent emblem is another prominent symbol associated with Shriners. This symbol often appears on the fez and represents the mystique and Middle Eastern theme integral to Shriners International. The scimitar, a curved sword, is a historical reference to the Arabian theme, and the crescent moon is a symbol commonly associated with Islam.

Colorful Costumes: Shriners wear elaborate and colorful costumes during parades and special events. These costumes can include vibrant jackets, sashes, and other accessories. The attire adds a festive and celebratory element to their public appearances, reflecting the lighthearted spirit of the organization.

Jewels and Pins: Members may also wear jewels and pins that denote their rank or achievements within the organization. These adornments can showcase a Shriner’s dedication and involvement in Shriners International.

Clowns and Mini Cars: In addition to traditional symbols, Shriners are known for their entertaining performances, often involving clowns and miniature vehicles in parades. These elements contribute to the organization’s public image and are designed to bring joy to spectators.

How Do Individuals Become Shriners And Their Requirements

To become a Shriner, individuals must first meet certain criteria and follow a specific process. Here are the critical aspects of becoming a member of Shriners International:

● Master Mason Status: The foundational requirement for becoming a Shriner is to be a Master Mason in good standing with a recognized Masonic lodge. Freemasonry is a prerequisite, and individuals seeking Shriner membership must have completed the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason within a Masonic lodge.

● Joining a Masonic Lodge: Prospective Shriners typically begin their journey by joining a local Masonic lodge and participating in Masonic rituals and activities. This allows them to become part of the Masonic Brotherhood and gain experience and understanding of Masonic principles.

● Invitation or Inquiry: Once an individual attains the status of Master Mason, they may express interest in joining Shriners International. Current Shriners may sometimes extend invitations to eligible Master Masons, while others may inquire about the process themselves.

● Shrine Petition: Individuals must submit a petition to a local Shrine temple to formalize their desire to become a Shriner. This petition typically includes personal information, details about Masonic affiliations, and a declaration of their interest in joining Shriners International.

● Approval Process: The petition undergoes a review process by the temple’s membership committee. If approved, the candidate proceeds to the initiation process.

● Initiation and Ceremonies: Initiation ceremonies are integral to becoming a Shriner. These ceremonies often involve symbolic rituals and traditions that impart the values and principles of the organization.

● Participation in Temple Activities: Once initiated, new Shriners are encouraged to participate in temple activities, events, and charitable initiatives. This involvement strengthens their bond with the organization and allows them to contribute to its philanthropic endeavors.

Becoming a Shriner is a journey that begins within the framework of Freemasonry and progresses through a thoughtful and ceremonial process. The organization emphasizes the principles of brotherhood, charity, and community service, and prospective members are welcomed into a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to positively impacting society.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Shriners?

Shriners are members of Shriners International, a fraternal organization associated with Freemasonry, known for their philanthropy and support for children’s hospitals.

How does one become a Shriner?

To become a Shriner, individuals must first attain the status of Master Mason in a recognized Masonic lodge and then express interest by submitting a petition to a local Shrine temple.

What is the primary focus of Shriners International?

The primary focus of Shriners International is philanthropy, mainly through the support of Shriners Hospitals for Children, providing specialized medical care for children in need.

What are the distinctive symbols worn by Shriners?

Shriners are easily identifiable by their red fezzes adorned with unique symbols, including the scimitar and crescent emblem, reflecting the organization’s Middle Eastern theme.

Why are Shriners known for driving mini-cars?

Shriners often drive mini cars in parades and events as a tradition that adds entertainment raises awareness, and symbolizes the camaraderie within the organization.


Shriners International is a philanthropic, fraternal organization with a rich history in Freemasonry. Recognized by their distinctive symbols, including the iconic fez, Shriners exemplify a commitment to charity, brotherhood, and the well-being of children, notably through their support of specialized medical care at Shriners Hospitals. Through vibrant traditions, such as driving mini cars in parades, Shriners continue to positively impact communities, embodying the principles of service and camaraderie.


●    news-press.com: Bug guys little cars Shriners.

●    howstuffworks.com: Why do Shriners drive little cars?


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