The Maltese cross
, also known as the Amalfi cross
, is identified as the symbol of an order of Christian
warriors known as the Knights Hospitaller
or Knights of Malta and through them came to be identified with the Mediterranean
island of Malta
and is one of the National symbols
of Malta. The Maltese cross was depicted on the two mils
coin in the old Maltese currency, and is now shown on the back of the one and two Euro
coins, introduced in January 2008.
In the mid 16th century, when the Knights were at Malta, the familiar design now known as the "Maltese Cross" became associated with the island. The first evidence for Maltese Cross on Malta appears on the 2 Tarì
and 4 Tarì Copper coins of the Grand Master Jean de la Vallette-Parisot (Grand Master 1557-1568). The 2 and 4 Tarì Copper coins are dated 1567. This provides a date for the introduction of the Maltese Cross.
The cross is eight-pointed and has the form of four "V"-shaped elements joined together at their tips, so that each arm has two points. Its design is based on crosses used since the First Crusade
. It is also the modern symbol of Amalfi
, a small Italian republic of the 11th century.
In the 15th century, the eight points of the four arms of the later called Maltese Cross represented the eight lands of origin, or Langues
of the Knights Hospitaller
The eight points... Read More