The Maltese Cross is a fireman's badge of honor and a symbol of protection. The firemen and women who wears this cross are willing to lay down their life for you. Each of the eight points of the cross has a meaning. When a courageous band of crusaders known as the Knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for possession of the Holy Land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to European warriors. It was a simple, but a horrible device of war, it wrought excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for the cross. The Saracen's weapon was fire. As the crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, they were struck by glass bombs containing the highly flammable liquid, naptha. After saturating the Knights of St. John with naptha, the Saracens hurled a flaming torch into their midst. Hundreds of the knights were burned alive; others risked their lives to save their brothers-in-arms from dying painful, fiery deaths. These men became our first firemen and the first of a long list of courageous firefighters. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded each a badge of honor - a cross similar to the one firemen wear today. Since the Knights of St. John lived for close to four centuries on a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross.