Charity, Unity, Fraternity, & Patriotism
Chartered November 27, 1898
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 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.