The St John logo incorporates the Amalfi Cross. Every part of the cross has a meaning linked to the four cardinal virtues and the eight qualities of an effective first aider

The Italian republic of Amalfi was the principal European city trading with Palestine in the 11th century.

Amalfi’s symbol, a white eight-pointed cross, and the name ‘St John’ together represent the full history and heritage of St John – more than 900 years of volunteer commitment to serve humanity. The Cross also directly links the New Zealand organisation to St John worldwide.

Meanings of the cross


The four arms of the modern white cross that represents the Order of St John symbolise the cardinal virtues:

  • Prudence
  • Justice
  • Temperance
  • Fortitude

The Amalfi Cross with Heraldic Beasts

The eight points, which stem from the four arms, represent the qualities of a good first aider:

  • Humility
  • Sympathy
  • Gentleness
  • Truth
  • Compassion
  • Unselfishness
  • Peace
  • Endurance

The lions and unicorns are the supporters of the Royal Coat of Arms granted by the British Crown, and indicate that St John is a Royal Order.

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