Why are graduations caps square?

Graduation photoHere is a very old photo of me taken at my graduation ceremony in 1996, proudly wearing my graduation cap (very similar to the cap the logo I use for Deane’s English). The official name for such a cap is a mortarboard: a square board for a handle used for holding and carrying masonry mortar. Not the most glamorous of garments, I know, but certainly one which carries very happy memories!

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