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
Formee cross similar to a Maltese cross, turned sideways. The shield is that
associated with a medieval Knight. The
Formee cross 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 of mercy.
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, and 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.