The Emblem of the Order of the Knights of Columbus
The Emblem of the Order dates from the Second Supreme meeting,
May 12, 1883, when it was designed by James T. Mullen, who was then the
first Supreme Knight. A quick glance at the Emblem indicates a shield
mounted upon a cross similar to a Maltese cross, turned sideways. The
shield is that associated with a medieval Knight. The cross of Malta is
the representation, in a traditionally artistic design, of the Cross of
Christ through which all graces of redemption were procured for mankind.
This, then, represents the Catholic spirit of the Order.
Mounted on the shield are three objects; a mace standing
vertically, and crossed behind it, an anchor and a dagger or short
sword. The mace from Roman days of authority, which must exist in any
tightly-bonded and efficiently operating organization. The anchor is the
mariner's symbol for Columbus, patron of the Order, while the short
sword or dagger was the weapon of the Knight when engaged upon an errand
Thus the shield expresses Catholic Knighthood in
organized merciful action, and with the letters K. of C., it proclaims
this specific form of activity. The red, white, and blue in the
background of the shield and the foreground of the Cross of Malta are
the colors of our beloved country As such, red is the color of
stout-hearted courage, of pulsing activity and a full measure of
devotion. Blue is the symbol of hope, of calm tranquility under God, and
of confidence in the protection of our country, established under God.
White is the symbol of nobility of purpose, of purity of aim, and of
crucible-tried ideals to be carried out.
FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY
But there is another symbolism of color in red, white, and
blue. This is the ecclesiastical symbolism in which red becomes the
reflection of the drops of Christ's redemptive blood, shed upon Calvary,
and of the Martyr's blood shed in defense of the faith. Red, then, is
the symbol of Faith, of belief in Christ, in the Redemption, and in the
mission of every man to spread the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ.
White is the color of the Eucharistic Host, pledge of God's
Eucharistic presence among men, of the infinite love God had for man,
and of the overwhelming affection which the God-man had for each
individual. White then is the symbol of Christ-like Charity.
Blue is the color of Our Lady's mantle, in which she draped her
beloved Son, through Whom salvation came to a sinful world. Blue is then
the symbol of Hope.
Brothers, be thus edified of the meaning of this, the noble
Emblem of our Order. Always wear it with Pride, Dignity, and Honor, and
be inspired to live the virtues it proclaims.