Volunteer Fire Dept. 3×5 Flag with Maltese Cross
Representing volunteer fire and rescue personnel everywhere. Show your support and appreciation for the men and women who serve as volunteer firefighters by flying this bright red flag with a Maltese Cross centered on a red background. “Volunteer Fire Dept. Tradition Dedication Sacrifice” is all printed above and below the Cross. The artwork is visible on both sides of the flag and the lettering reads correctly from one side only. What a perfect gift for your favorite Volunteer Firefighter.
- One solid piece of printed, hemmed fabric
- Lightweight, 100 denier polyester that will fly nicely in the slightest breeze.
- Bright colors
- 4 rows of stitching on the fly end to prevent premature fraying
- Reinforced header with brass grommets
- Flag size: 3′ x 5′
Meaning and History of the Maltese Cross
The Maltese Cross or Cross of Malta dates back over one thousand years, to the Crusaders in the Middle East. The Knights of St. John were the world’s first great brotherhood of warriors sworn to chivalry. The Knights of St. John included men of all walks of life, from noblemen and priests to artisans and laborers. Regardless of their differences, they were bound together by a pledge to one another of courage and compassion. Together they battled against oppressive forces. They brought their crusades long distances away from home, crossing deserts and oceans to the Holy Lands of Malta, Cyprus, and Rhodes. All the while they administered to the sick, and needy. The Crusaders adopted the eight-pointed Cross of Malta as their emblem because its eight points represented the eight virtues prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure, the merciful, the peacemakers, they that mourn, they that seek righteousness, and they who are persecuted for righteousness sake. Although the Cross of Malta had Christian origins, the Knights of St. John made it their battle standard representing liberation for all men, women, and children who suffered oppression. When the Knights of St. John engaged the Saracens in the battle for possession of the Holy Land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to Europeans up until that time. Although simple, a horrible method of warfare that inflicted terrible pain and death upon the Saracens’ enemies. This weapon was fire. As the knights advanced, they were struck by glass containers of naphtha. Once saturated with this highly flammable liquid, the Saracens threw flaming torches into their ranks. Hundreds of the knights were burned alive while others put their own lives at risk to save their brothers. These men became the first of a long line of brave firemen. The courageous efforts of these early firefighters were recognized by being awarded a badge of honor, which was a Cross similar to what modern-day firemen wear. Because the Knights of St. John lived for nearly 4 centuries on the small island in the Mediterranean named Malta, the cross became known as the Maltese Cross.
Today, the universal symbol of firefighters is the Maltese Cross. It symbolizes protection and is a badge of honor. Just as the crusaders risked their lives and many times made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man so many years ago, today’s firefighters exhibit that same spirit of courage and sacrifice.