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Unfurling Our Banner & Colors: Displaying & Understanding the Emblem of the Order

By Diego Pena, State Treasurer

Vol. 4, 2016-2017


At our 115th State Convention in Corpus Christi, our Worthy Culture of Life Chairman Tom Clark presented his Report on the Good of the Order.This report, which is located on our Texas State Council website, www.tkofc.org, identifies a list of traditions and suggestions we encourage all Councils to prioritize and implement. One of the suggestions encourages us to display Emblem of the Order often.The Knights of Columbus Emblem exemplifies our identity as an Order of the Catholic Church.Our Emblem is one of the Order’s most valuable assets and it should be displayed often and proudly.But to display it properly, we need to know and understand it.

Meaning of the Emblem of the Order

Past Supreme Knight James T. Mullen designed the Emblem not long after the Order was formally chartered.Inspired by Father McGivney’s vision, PSK McMullen designed the Emblem to resemble the shields used by medieval knights.To underscore our identity as a Catholic Order, PSK McMullen mounted the shield on a Formée Cross—an artistic representation of the Cross of Christ through which all graces of redemption are procured for mankind.The Cross’s presence on our Emblem represents the Catholic spirit of our Order.

The top of the shield brandishes the letters “KofC” which represent “Catholic Knighthood organized in merciful action.”Underneath the letters are three objects:a fasces, an anchor and a Roman short sword—or dagger.In ancient Roman time, the fasces, a bound bundle of wooden rods surrounding an axe, was carried before magistrates as an emblem of authority.In our Emblem, the fasces represents the fraternal nature of our Order.The anchor honors our patron, Christopher Columbus.The short sword represents our devotion to charity; typically, Knights carried short swords while engaged in errands of mercy.

The Emblem’s colors contain a patriotic and religious—or ecclesiastic—significance.Red, white and blue are the colors of our country.From a Catholic perspective, the color red symbolizes Faith and our belief in Christ and appreciation for His redemptive sacrifice.White honors Our Lord’s Eucharistic presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament.Blue is the color of Our Lady’s mantle and represents hope.

Our Emblem proclaims our Catholic identity and reminds us of our charitable mission to honor and protect our Church and our community.

Displaying the Emblem of the Order

As Knights of Columbus, we should do all we can to proudly display the Emblem of the Order.Whenever possible, we should wear our KofC lapel pins, name badges and shirts.In our homes and offices, alongside our Crucifixes and other items of faith, we should display the Emblem.

When attending or serving at Mass, we should proudly display the emblem of the Order.Ushers, Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers should wear their lapel pins and/or KofC name badges while serving at Mass.Corporate communions, where all are wearing Council shirts or lapel pins is a powerful witness to the fraternal nature of our Order.

I strongly encourage Brother Knights in Texas to place KofC license plates on your vehicles.Your daily commute provides the Order one of the most visible and powerful branding opportunities.I can’t tell you the number of times I have been asked by people in parking lots at work or while shopping about my KofC license plate.A KofC license place is truly at home in the church parking lot before and after Mass.An even more powerful witness is when your Council’s Chaplain’s vehicle contains a KofC license plate.

Finally, I encourage all of you as much as possible to wear your KofC shirts in public, at Mass and at parish and diocesan events.While attending the recent San Antonio Catholic Men’s Conference this past February, I was proud to see that more than half of the attendees were wearing KofC shirts.Wearing the shirts proclaimed a loud witness to those in attendance. Thanks for all you do for our Order, your Parishes and our Church.

Vivat Jesus!

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