Every Fire and Rescue Service in the UK has their own unique badge, also known as the insignia.
They are based upon the eight pointed star that represents the cross of St. John. The eight points or 'tenets' are said to represent the knightly virtues of
The origins of the eight pointed star can be traced back to the time of the Crusades in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The star originates from the Maltese Cross, which was the emblem of the Knights of Malta. It was used by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem during the Crusades.
The Knights of Saint John was primarily a charitable, non-military organisation. A white or silver cross on a dark background was adopted by these knights.
They were sometimes known as 'hospitallers' because of their charity toward the sick and poor in setting up hospices and hospitals.
Later, they assisted the knights of the crusades with their goodwill. They also gave military assistance in an effort to win back the Holy Land. Many members were called upon to perform heroic deeds.
These included rescuing fellow Knights and extinguishing fires. In acknowledgement of this bravery, these Knights wore a Maltese Cross inscribed with their actions.
It is likely that this is where the association of the Maltese Cross with firefighters was born.
Latest Update : 11 December 2020