The emblem of the Order dates from the second Supreme Council meeting of May 12, 1883 when it was designed by James T. Mullen who was then the Supreme Knight.
The emblem contains a shield mounted upon a Formee Cross. The shield is associated with medieval knights. The Formee Cross represents a traditional artistic design of the Cross of Christ through which all graces of redemption were procured for mankind. This then represents the Catholic spirit o the Order.
Mounted on the shield are a fasces standing vertically and crossed behind it, an anchor and a dagger or short sword. The fasces, a bundle of white birch rods, is symbolic 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. The sword was the weapon of the knight when engaged upon an errand of mercy. 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 country. Red is the symbol of hope, of calm tranquility under God and of confidence in the protection of our country. White is the symbol of nobility of purpose, of purity of aim and of crucible—tried ideas to be carried out.
The ecclesiastical symbolism in which red becomes the reflection of the drips of Christ’s redemptive blood shed upon Calvary, and of the martyr’s blood shed in the defense of the faith
Red is the symbol of Faith, of belief in Christ, in the Redemption and in 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 has for man and the overwhelming affection which God has for each individual. White is the symbol of Christ-like charity. Blue is the color of Our Lady’s mantle in which she wrapped her beloved Son through Whom came salvation to a sinful world. Blue is the symbol of hope.