The Fourth Degree
On February 22, 1900, the first exemplification of the degree was held in New York City. The ritual added patriotism to the three original principles of the Order: charity, unity and fraternity. Any Third Degree member in good standing, six months after the anniversary of his First Degree, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups called assemblies. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members in the local council to remain in good standing.
Starting at the Supreme level there is the Supreme Master and the Supreme Board of Directors. The next level of the structure is broken into provinces of which there are twenty. Each province is lead by a Vice-Supreme Master. The Vice-Supreme Master wears a light blue lined cape and chapeau. The province is then broken up into districts each of which should contain no more than eight assemblies. A Master is in charge of a District and wears gold lined cape and chapeau. Also a Master usually has a District Marshall to assist him. The District Marshall wears a green lined cape and chapeau. Faithful Navigators wear a white cape and chapeau.
Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as Color Guards and Honor Guards at civic and religious functions, an activity which has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus organization. Honor Guardsmen have mastered the Color Corps Drill Manual. The District Marshall of the Color Corps wears a green-lined cape and chapeau. The Color Corp Commander wears a purple lined cape and chapeau. Finally, all other members of the Color Corp wear red lined capes and white chapeaus.
Emblem of the Fourth Degree
The Fourth Degree emblem consisting of three overlaid objects representing the Trinity. The Globe represents God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Crusader's Cross, similar to the cross which knights use to wear into battle during the Holy Crusades, represents God the Son, Jesus Christ. The Dove represents the God the Holy Spirit, Paraclete.
The colors, Red, White, and Blue are the colors of the American Flag representative of the principle of the 4th Degree, Patriotism.