Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Name and Insignia

Name and Insignia

The Order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world but there also exist a number of organizations with similar-sounding names that are unrelated, including numerous fraudulent (self-styled) orders seeking to capitalize on the name.

In the ecclesiastical heraldry of the Roman Catholic Church, the Order of Malta is one of only two orders (along with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre) whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms. (Laypersons have no such restriction.) The shield is surrounded with a silver rosary for professed knights, or for others the ribbon of their rank. Members may also display the Maltese Cross behind their shield instead of the ribbon.

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