I was surfing the net looking at SOPs and came across this information. I thought I would share it and also ask you history buffs if it is fact or fiction??

Maltese Cross

"Symbol of Honor, Courage, and Dedication"
The eight-point Maltese Cross is the international symbol of the fire service's willingness to make great sacrifices in order to protect others from the ravages of fire. It is a badge of courage and honor and it's story is a hundred years old.
This honored symbol originated with a group of eleventh century knights who were serving in a Jerusalem hospital. They became known as the Order of Knights Hospitaller and later became the Knights of St. John. This charitable organization cared for the ill with great compasion.
Later they assisted the Knights of Crusaders in thier effort to win back the Holy Land. As the Knights of St. John and Knights of Crusaders attacked the city walls, the Saracens first threw glass bombs containing highly flammable liquids and then flaming torches. Many knights were severly burned, some suffering agonizing deaths. Risking horrible death, those knights who were able struggled desperatly to help thier burning comrades, beating out the flames and dragging them to safety. In acknowledgment of thier heroic deeds of rescuing fellow knights and fighting fires, the cross which they wore was decorated and inscribed.
In 1530, the Island of Malta was given to the courageous knights. The symbol on thier flag, the eight-point cross, became known as the "Maltese Cross." The cross, which had originally helped the knights distinguish between friend and foe, became the ultimate symbol of heroism and service. The cross, which is considered sacred, represents the principles of charity, loyalty, chivalry, gallantry, generosity to friend and foe, protection of the weak and dexterity in service.

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Thats the way I always heard it but I thought the knights were called the knights of malta.
thats true
that is incredible and I never had the opportunity to hear the history of the cross. That is really a great piece of information and history. Thanks for sharing...
It is interesting. The only part I'm not sure about is "International" part.There are many places that utilise a star for this purpose. As with my Service. But then the intersting part is that our Star is that of St John, which is linked with what is often termed the Maltese Cross. The qualities quoted for the eight pointed cross and star are said to be those that were the old 'knightly virtues'. Those 'virtues' that the knights of old were supposed to live by.

For Justin H, the knights were known under various names through the centuries. The Knights Hospitaller, the Knights of St John, the Knights of St John of Malta, and others in cluding the Knights of Malta. They seem to have had something of an identity crisis! The Wiki entry for them is short enough and interesting.

Whichever emblem we serve under, the meaning is the same.
The South Carolina Fire Academy awards the Order of the Maltese to one student from each Recruit School class.
The history of the Maltese Cross is read as part of the award ceremony at the Recruit School Graduation.

Part of the awards citation reads :The Maltese Cross is a firefighter's badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage - a ladder rung away from death. The Eight Obligations of The Maltese Cross are: Live In Faith, Repent Of Sins, Love Justice, Be Sincere And Whole - hearted, Have Faith, Give Proof Of Humility, Be Merciful and Endure Persecution." http://www.scfa.state.sc.us/News/index.asp?file=nr/SCFA5.16.08grads...

These eight obligations are also known as "The Eight Points of the Maltere Cross".
Thanks a lot guys, very interesting, I never knew this:)
Thanks, learn something new everyday.And it is true the meaning is the same. Stay safe
WOW I never knew that Very intresting Thanks get to learn new things all the time

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