The Fourth Degree is the patriotic arm of the Knights of Columbus. Since its establishment, the primary objective of this degree is to promote the ideals of Catholicism and Patriotism side by side by fostering the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and encouraging active Catholic citizenship. The Fourth Degree was first established in New York on (Washington's Birthday) February 22,1900. Fourteen hundred members were chosen to witness this ceremony. Today, local units, called assemblies, draw their members from Knights of Columbus councils and now there are some 300,000 Fourth Degree Knights out of the total 1.6 million member Knights of Columbus. Membership in the Fourth Degree is open to any Third Degree Brother who has been a Knight more than 1 year.
A Fourth Degree Knight may become part of the assembly's color corps. These members are recognized widely by their distinctive attire of tuxedo, feathered hat (chapeau), cape and sword. These members regularly take part in civic events such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, and at ecclesial functions at Catholic churches. The various colored capes and chapeau feathers denote different officer positions within the Fourth Degree
The Emblem of the Fourth Degree
The triad emblem of the Fourth Degree features the Dove, the Cross, and the Globe.
The Dove - classic symbol of the Holy Spirit and Peace - is shown hovering over the orb of the Earth (Globe). Both are mounted on a variation of the Crusader's Cross - that which was found on the tunics and capes of the Crusading Knights who battled to regain the Holy Land from the pagans.
Our Honored Order cherishes as its patron Christopher Columbus.
Christopher- Christ Bearer
Columbus - Dove of Peace, symbolizing the Paraclete.
Spiritually, the sacred symbols on the emblem typify the Union of the Three Divine Persons in one Godhead the most Blessed Trinity.
The Globe - God the Father, Creator of the Universe
The Cross - God the Son, Redeemer of Mankind
The Dove - God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of Humanity
The colors of the symbols are:
A RED Cross with gold borders, and gold knobs at the end of the points forming the ends of the arms of the Cross (also known as the Isabella Cross) .
A White dove.
A BLUE Globe with the lans of the Western Hemisphere in white.
Red white and blue the colors of the flag of our country, in which our Order originated; and are used to stress the basic principle of the Fourth Degree . . . PATRIOTISM.