Irvin H. Hahn Company Baltimore, Maryland

A Few Guidelines for Wearing The Maltese Cross Badge

It’s important to know the history behind a badge symbol, like the Maltese Cross badge for firefighters, for example, because otherwise, it becomes a fashion trend and essentially loses its meaning. When it comes to the Maltese Cross badge there is a definite meaning that anyone that has ever worn a fire department badge or firefighter insignia should know. It dates back hundreds of years and is a symbol that represents a person who is willing to defend others and their community, no matter the cost.

Many fire department seals can be seen featuring the Maltese Cross on their badge, since there is a very well-defined meaning behind this symbol that relates to their work, and it’s one that many people take very seriously. One of the most important guidelines for wearing the Maltese Cross badge, which will be included below, is to avoid flaunting it or even to be seen possessing it unless you have offered your service to others in a way that makes it clear that you’ve dedicated your life to serving and saving others. The Maltese Cross badge isn’t meant to be a fashion statement any more than a fire department badge is, so using common sense when affixing anything resembling a Maltese Cross badge to an article of clothing is definitely advised.

Here are a few guidelines that might be useful when thinking about wearing the Maltese Cross badge, whether as a firefighter or a civilian.

Wearing the Maltese Cross Badge to Honor a Family Member

Fire department badges are often seen to employ the Maltese Cross symbol due to its meaning and the nature of their work. Those that are related to firefighters are seen to employ this distinctive fire insignia from time to time, during special events for example, in order to pay respect to those that risk their lives to help others and to honor those that have fallen in the line of duty.

If you are not a firefighter but are related to or connected with your local firefighters, wearing the Maltese Cross as a symbol of respect to honor and thank them is appreciated.

Don’t Buy Just Any Badge for Sale with the Maltese Cross

A-70The history of the Maltese Cross badge is quite interesting — since it’s been used for so long, its origins date back to ancient times. Some would claim back to the Crusades, when Europeans were fighting tooth and nail for the holy lands and had encountered stiff resistance from the Saracens. Back in those days, it was believed that those that were brave and decisive enough to protect and save their companions and fellow knights from the killing fires that the Saracens unleashed upon them were the world’s first firefighters.

Since then, the Maltese Cross badge has been a sign of honor that is worn by those that selflessly put their lives at risk to help and protect others. When you need a badge for sale, don’t just buy one because it looks cool with the Maltese Cross, make sure you have earned the right to bear it and honor its history.

Collecting vs Wearing Fire Department Badges

The short answer as to why someone shouldn’t be wearing a fire department badge in public, or any firefighter insignia for that matter, is pretty simple — if they’ve never been a firefighter or aren’t honoring someone in their family, it can be seen as taboo, devaluing the symbol down to a fashion statement vs a symbol of protection.

It’s a matter of respect that many people take very seriously and it could cause a bit of a problem for anyone that wants to flaunt a Maltese Cross badge or a fire department badge of any kind who hasn’t earned the right to bear one. That kind of disrespect is hard to forgive, since many brave men and women put their lives on the line constantly in service and that symbol represents them and honors their sacrifice. It is fine to collect and display various badges and symbols along with insignia, but wearing them in public without a respectful cause is severely frowned upon.

Be Sure to Respect All Maltese Cross Insignia

A-802It’s no one’s place to tell another person that they can’t have a personal collection of firefighter insignia if it’s a personal interest of theirs. There are plenty of sites that offer badges for sale and some of them are the same sites that sell Maltese Cross badges and supply fire department badges, among other service badges. But the point can’t be stressed enough: if you don’t serve in this capacity then it’s best to keep such a collection to yourself and not expose it to anyone that might take offense.

Maltese Cross badges aren’t simply handed out to anyone passing by on the street or to kids because it’s thought to be cool. Despite any replica fire department seals that you might see circulating within society, the real things mean something to those that possess them. When collecting the Maltese Cross insignia, be sure to respect it, honor it, and treat it with proper care.

Firefighter Insignia is a Symbol of Sacrifice and Honor

A-63Some firefighters can be kind of touchy when talking about anything that has to do with the job, including the fire department badges that many of them have on them and have earned. The Maltese Cross badge carries a pretty big responsibility with it, enough that a lot of firefighters and former firefighters might not be too impressed with a badge that was bought and paid for when their own fire department badges were earned through a great deal of sweat and toil.

Bragging about badges for sale that were found online is a bad idea, especially when talking to anyone that’s actually served or has family or friends that have been a part of the fire department. Know who you’re talking to before deciding to ‘share’ your badge collection unless of course, you’ve been a firefighter. A lot of firefighters tend to keep their fire department badges, but a lot of them also don’t feel the need to brag about them. Respect those who have earned the badge when discussing your admiration for the symbol.

Wrapping Up

It’s always wise to learn as much as you can about various symbols that are used by various departments, and why they’re considered important. The meaning behind them might have been lost on some folks a long time ago, but the Maltese Cross badge still means a great deal to a lot of people. We hope this guide has helped you decide when to wear the Maltese Cross, how to display it in your collection respectfully, and a little bit of the history behind its meaning. 

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