Symbol of martyrdom and generosity.
The Knights Templar were a secret club dedicated to assisting Christians on their Holy Land pilgrimages. During the Crusades, they were active. The Knights Templar made a vow of obedience, poverty, and chastity. They avoided drinking, cussing, and gambling. They established a bank with pilgrim money and lent it to rulers. The red cross, which is a sign of generosity and martyrdom, was their symbol. Noble knights, non-noble sergeants, and chaplains were the three ranks of Knights Templar. Members had to be knighted before they could join the ranks of knights. Hugues de Payens created the Knights Templar in 1118. He was the first Grand Master in charge of the entire operation, including the financial and military aspects. The red cross was emblazoned on their surcoats and mantles. In 1312, the Knights Templar order was disbanded.