For more than 800 years, the white eight-pointed Cross of the Order of St John has symbolized commitment, and compassionate and practical care “in service to mankind” throughout the world. This cross, worn on badges and decorations by Order Members (called Confrères), is evidence of their “profession to service” based on Christian ideals. Its white color represents purity. Its four arms symbolize the virtues of:
· Prudence: Carefulness and forethought
· Justice: Fairness and equality
· Temperance: Moderation in all things
· Fortitude: Courage and endurance
The eight points of the cross represent The Beatitudes, the spiritual qualities blessed by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. The badge of The Venerable Order includes the heraldic supporters – lions and unicorns – of the Monarch’s Arms, placed between the arms of the eight-pointed cross, indicating the Sovereign establishment and Royal issuance of this Order of Chivalry.
The arms of the Priory are as follows: A white Greek cross on a red shield with the Royal Crest in the upper left quadrant, with a blue roundel in the center showing an eagle's head, surrounded by thirteen stars.
The arms of the Order are described as follows: A white Greek cross on a red shield with the Royal Crest in the upper left quadrant.
More information on heraldry can be found at these sites:
Membership in the Order includes certain heraldic privileges. The officers of arms in England and Scotland will be happy to discuss them with members who inquire.