Is that a Peace Cross on the Crusader’s Chest?!?
As many of you may know, I am more then a little hooked on the legends and stories and even the myths and conspiracy theories about the Templars. So, what is the deal with the cross they wear, where did it come from, why did they choose it for their symbol and why does it keep coming back in modern times?
The cross that the Templar choose is a red version of the Cross of Jerusalem. As one of the first orders of knights involved in the Crusades, the Templars choose the symbol of the Christian church in Jerusalem, a simple Greek cross with four crosses around the outside of the main cross. The crosses around the outsid eof the Jerusalem Cross are there to represent the four gospels. The Templars took that central cross, as the defenders of Jerusalem, and made it their own, a symbol to strike fear into the hearts of the interlopers.
That red cross of the Templars is also very much like the Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross or Amalfi Cross was he symbol of the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights of Malta. The same as the Jerusalem Cross, the Maltese Cross is a peace cross, here is the odd thing about the Templar cross, traditionally, a cross with all for points being the same length is known as a peace cross, the fact that the Templars and the Hospitallers used peace crosses as their symbols is a little strange, they massacred thousands of people in the Holy Land but a peace cross was their symbol. Very interesting to me.
And finally, why does this symbol keep coming back? This symbol seems to pop up a lot. Once, in a search for Templar images, I came across a Masonic ring with a Templar cross and a skull and cross bones on it. I was floored. Through doing some very brief research, I found that it is a Scotch Rite Ring. Blown away. Looking through more Masonic imagery, I found that I was missing a whole world of Templar imagery in the Masonic realm of things. The Templar cross is alive and well in that sect of society. Then of course their is the Assassin’s Creed series of games. I love these games, even though the Templars are the bad guys. In fact, I don’t know why Ubisoft hasn’t flipped that script and done a Templar-sentric version of the game where you get to play a Templar… maybe go through training… maybe go on a Crusade… maybe end up in the New World burying treasure.
And the whole time you would have a Red Cross of peace on your tabard.