Banners of Knights Templar in Hertfordshire (Continued)
Melita Preceptory No: 37
The preceptory was constituted in 1815.
The history of the banner is most unusual and very historical stemming from 1315 when the Knights of St.John were besieged on Rhodes. Amadeau, the Count of Savoy was rewarded for his bravery by the Grand Master with a jewelled collar chain bearing the words ‘Fortitudo Ejus Rondinum Tenuit’ – “His courage saved Rhodes”.
At the same time he was granted permission to bear the red and white battle standard of St.John. The Count died in 1323 and the collar chain was buried with him. In his commemoration the Order placed the four initials FERT in the four quarters of its battle standard and blazoned this as a shield on top of the eight pointed cross of Amalfi of the Order, now known as the Maltese cross. This shield and cross on a black background form the Banner of Melita Preceptory.