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Knights of Columbus (U.S.)

Last modified: 2002-09-28 by rick wyatt
Keywords: knights of columbus |
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[Knights of Columbus flag] by Phil Nelson, 20 February 2002

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Founded in 1882, The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization. It originated in New Haven Connecticut to provide, in part, widows of members with death benefits (Historical note: many insurance companies during the era did not sell policies to Catholic Americans). As of July 1, 2001, the organization had 1.63 million members in 11,860 subordinate councils worldwide.

The organizers adopted the name Knights of Columbus in honor of Christopher Columbus.

        Annual Report, _Columbia_, Volume LXVIII, Number 10, October, 1988.
        Annual Report, _Columbia_, Volume 81, Number 10, October, 2001.
        Official Knights of Columbus Flags and Accessories catalogue, 1993

Phil Nelson, 20 February 2002


The annual report of the Knights of Columbus from October 1988 describes the flag as follows: "The Knights of Columbus flag combines in its field, red and white colors from the emblem of the Order, yellow from the papal flag and white and green from the expeditionary flag of Columbus.

A broad band of yellow and a narrow band of red, in parallel, divide the flag diagonally from lower left to upper right corners.

The triangular white upper field features the green cross of the ensign flown by Christopher Columbus on his voyages of discovery. On the triangular blue lower field is the emblem of the Knights of Columbus." The flag was first hoisted in June, 1988 and measures 3 feet by 5 feet. Indoor and parade quality varieties use gold fringe, cords and tassels.

Phil Nelson, 20 February 2002

The Emblem

The emblem of the Knights of Columbus features a Maltese-style cross with alternating red and blue arms, upon which is mounted a shield bearing the initials KofC above a depiction of a fasces, sword and anchor.

The colors are based upon the colors of the U.S. flag, where the K of C originated.

Phil Nelson, 20 February 2002