Meaning of the Emblem
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Symbolism of the SAR Medal
The main feature of the medal is the Cross of Malta. The cross is composed of horizontal and vertical bars. The vertical bar represents the commandment, ""Thou Shall Love Your God.". The horizontal bar represents the commandment, "Thou Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself." The intersection of the bars reminds us that "Love of God and Neighbor" are in fact one and the same love.
There are four limbs of the cross. The limbs remind us of the four cardinal virtues.
The first virtue is prudence, learned by studying the past in order to regulate the present and plan for the future. Prudence allows one to understand the fallacy in allowing a lesser evil to avoid a greater evil, because the accumulation of lesser evils will eventually exceed the hypothetical greater evil.
The second virtue is justice. There is an art and science in being just. The art comes from the recognition of the true worth of fellow man. The science involves the concept of impartiality and always begs the question: Is it fair to all concerned? True justice is underscored by integrity of life.
The third virtue is temperance or moderation in all of our actions, including the senses, especially the sensual desires.
The fourth virtue is fortitude, with magnanimity and courage to serve
There are eight points of the Maltese Cross. Each point represents one of the beatitudes recounted for the Knight of Malta by the initiator who would proclaim the following:
"This cross was given white to us as a sign of purity, which you must carry in your heart as you wear it externally, without spot or blemish. The eight points that you see in this are signs of the eight beatitudes that you must always have within you, and they are:
1. To have spiritual contentment
2. To live without malice
3. To weep over your sins
4. To humble yourself at insults
5. To love justice
6. To be merciful
7. To be sincere and open-hearted
8. To suffer persecution
All these virtues you must engrave upon your heart for conservation and preservation of your soul, and for that reason I command you to wear it openly sewn on your clothing on the left-hand side of the heart and never abandon it."
Lastly, our medal has the bust of George Washington at the intersection of the two bars of the cross. This reminds us of our great leader at the time of the American Revolution. Surrounding his bust are the words; "LIBERTAS ET PATRIA," reminding us of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
Page updated: 1 JAN 2010 © 2009