The Maltese Cross

What is the Maltese Cross

The Maltese cross is a symbol that is most commonly associated with the Knights of Malta.

What does it look like?

The shape of the Maltese cross is star-like with four V-shaped arms that are joined together at the tips.

What’s the history behind the cross?

Although the Maltese cross is most famously associated with the Knights of Malta, as well as Malta itself as a country, the symbol originates from Amalfi, which was an Italian republic during the 11th century.

What’s the meaning of the Maltese cross?

The Maltese Cross formally adopted by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John in 1126, stylistically owes its origins to the crosses used in the crusades, when it was identified as the symbol of the “Christian warrior”: Its eight points denote the eight obligations or aspirations of the knights, namely “to live in truth, have faith, repent one’s sins, give proof of humility, love justice, be merciful, be sincere and whole­hearted, and to endure persecution”.

With time, the eight points also came to represent the eight “langues” (literally “tongues”, but in effect national groupings) of the noblemen who were admitted to the famed order, namely those of Auvergne, Provence, France, Aragon, Castille and Portugal, Italy, Baviere (Germany), and England (with Scotland and Ireland).

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