The Knights Templar had many symbols that represented and inspired them during the Crusades. While it is difficult to find relics from nine centuries ago, knowledge of the symbols and their meanings have fortunately not been lost to time. Below we list some of the most significant Templar symbols and what they represented.
Knight Templar Seal
A popular image associated with the Knights Templar is that of two knights upon a horse. Grand Masters frequently used this as one of their seals in the period 1167–1298. So, what exactly does this image represent? There is no definite answer but there are some interesting theories. Some believe it to represent a "buddy system" where knights would operate in pairs. Others see it as symbolizing duality and balance and representing the knights’ dual function as monks and warriors.
It should come as no surprise that a cross is one of the symbols of a religious order of Christian warrior monks. This cross, mainly red, represented the knights’ connection to the Church as well as their mission. You would find the cross emblazoned upon the mantle. This symbol was not an ornament until 1147 when Pope Eugenius III approved of it. For the Crusader, the red cross represented martyrdom and reminded them of the sacrifice of Christ.
The Lamb of God (Agnus Dei)
The Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) is depicted as a lamb with a halo that is holding a cross or a flag with its cocked foreleg. Like other Templar symbols, this too has its share of variations. The lamb is symbolic of the martyred Christ and also referenced in the Bible through the words of John the Baptist after he has baptized Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
The Beauceant was the war flag of the Knights Templar and consisted of a black section above a white one. The real meaning of the standard is not known for certain but it could be that the black section depicted the sins of the world and the white symbolized the purity that the Templar Order offered the knights. Whatever the symbolism, the Beauceant held a lot of power – while it was still flying, knights were not allowed to retreat or stop fighting.
The lion is somewhat of an obvious symbol for a Christian order. The lion was the sigil of the Israelite tribe of Judah and Christ was also referred to as the Lion of Judah. Also, the lion represents courage, power and justice – traits valued by the Templar knight.
The Calvary Cross is a Latin cross standing on a base of three steps. Calvary is also Latin for the Aramaic word, Golgotha, which is the hill where Christ was crucified. The three steps are believed to symbolize the hill and also represent the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love.
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