It is not difficult to find symbols of fraternities within a cemetery, and most of these fraternities required from their members a belief in a higher power. Less common than the Masonic, Woodsmen of the World, or International Order of Oddfellows symbols are the ‘Knight” Fraternities of which I highlight only a few.
The Knights Templar, a Catholic military order was founded in 1119. Famous for their military prowess in the Crusades the majority of the order was non combative. symbol consists of a cross within a crown inside a Maltese cross, with the Latin phrase, “In Hoc Signo Vinces.” The phrase means “in this sign you shall conquer”.
The Fraternal Order of the Knights of Pythias is an international fraternity that promotes universal peace. It was founded in Washington, DC during the Civil War by Justus H. Rathbone. A heraldic shield with a suit of armor or letters F C B indicate a member of the Knights of Pythias.
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus to provide a Catholic alternative to secret societies and to support the families of men who died while working in factories. The present day Fraternity is engaged in local and global charities inside and outside the Catholic church.