What Is the Templar Flag Called?

What Is the Templar Flag Called?

The mystery and allure surrounding the Knights Templar, an ancient Christian military order, has fascinated historians and enthusiasts for centuries. Known for their role during the Crusades and rumored to possess great wealth and secrets, the Templars had a unique representation of their ideology and identity, most notably their emblem, the Templar Flag. Officially called the ‘Beauceant,’ this flag is rich in history and symbolism.

Origin and Early History of the Templars

In the aftermath of the First Crusade, the Knights Templar was founded around 1119 A.D., a religious war between Christians and Muslims for control over the Holy Land. The Templars began as a small group of knights dedicated to protecting Christian pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. The group grew rapidly in numbers and influence, gaining the support of the Church and European nobility.

The Templars became renowned not only for their martial prowess but also for their financial acumen. They established an early banking system, issuing letters of credit for pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land, which added considerably to their wealth and influence.

What Is the Real Templar Symbol?

The Knights Templar, an intriguing and powerful religious order that rose to prominence during the Crusades, is widely recognized by a particular symbol: the red cross on a white field. This unique emblem, the ‘Cross of the Templars,’ is the most identifiable symbol linked to the order.

The ‘Cross of the Templars’ isn’t a standard Christian cross but a specific type called a ‘Cross Pattee.’ This form of cross is characterized by arms that are narrow in the center and broaden out at the ends. The distinctive red hue of the cross stood as a bold symbol, representing the Templars’ readiness to sacrifice their lives in the noble pursuit of protecting their faith and the Holy Land. The white field on which the cross was displayed represented purity and virtue, echoing the spiritual commitment of the order.

Despite the dissolution of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century, the ‘Cross of the Templars’ remains an enduring symbol. Its simplicity and boldness have led to its widespread use in popular culture, often representing the ideals of courage, faith, and sacrifice. The Templar Cross is seen in books, movies, video games, and even in some family crests, testifying to the lasting impact and fascination with the Knights Templar. But it’s important to note that the historical meaning of the symbol might differ from its modern interpretations.

The Beauceant: The Templar Flag

As the Knights Templar grew in power and prestige, they developed a recognizable emblem to symbolize their order: the Beauceant. This name is often associated with their battle cry, which was ‘Beauceant for the Temple,’ reflecting their commitment to their cause.

The Beauceant consisted of a black section above a white one, both equally sized. Each color represented a distinct meaning, reflecting the Templars’ dualistic philosophy and mission.

The Meaning of the Colors

The black upper half of the flag symbolized the harsh and sinful world that the Templars had renounced. It signified the worldly, sinful, and ignorant state of being that the Templars pledged to fight against.

The white lower half represented purity, piety, and the divine. It stood for purity, spirituality, and enlightenment virtues that the Templars aspired to embody and uphold.

In essence, the two halves represented the Templar’s dual mission: to fight against sin (black) and for righteousness (white). This symbolism was deeply ingrained in the Templar philosophy and guided their actions.

The Iconography of the Beauceant

Apart from the two colors, the Beauceant sometimes bore the image of a red cross, specifically a variant of the Christian cross known as a “Cross Pattee.” This cross is distinguished by arms that narrow towards the center and flare out at the ends.

This red cross is not to be confused with the more well-known Templar symbol, a red cross on a white background, which adorned the mantles of Templar Knights. The cross on the Beauceant was a further reflection of the Templars’ devotion to their religious cause.

The Templar Flag in Historical Context

The Beauceant served as a rallying symbol for the Templars in their military campaigns during the Crusades. Its stark colors would have been highly visible on the battlefield, providing a clear point of focus for the Templar forces. It was not merely a banner identifying their forces but a potent symbol of their cause and commitment.

Yet, the Templar flag’s historical context is broader than the battlefield. As the Templars evolved from a purely military order to a more complex financial and political institution, the Beauceant continued to serve as their emblem. It adorned Templar buildings and documents, reinforcing the order’s dual mission in all their endeavors.

The Beauceant on the Battlefield: Its Role during the Crusades

During the Crusades, the battlefield was a maelstrom of chaos, confusion, and violence. The Beauceant, the Templar flag, played a crucial role in these circumstances as a beacon of focus and organization for the Templar Knights. Its stark contrast of black and white colors made it easily recognizable amidst the turmoil, enabling Templar forces to maintain formation and coordination.

The Beauceant was not merely a functional tool, however. Its presence was also deeply symbolic, serving as a visual reminder of the Templars’ commitment and mission. The flag’s colors, representing the battle against sin and the pursuit of righteousness, resonated strongly with the religious fervor that characterized the Crusades. Seeing the Beauceant hoisted high likely bolstered the morale of the Templar Knights, reaffirming their shared purpose and ideals.

The Templar flag’s role extended beyond the individual knights. It was a clear message to their allies and adversaries alike. For allies, the sight of the Beauceant signaled the presence of a formidable and dedicated force. It was a warning for adversaries, a symbol of the relentless and zealous warriors who bore it.

Therefore, the Beauceant’s role on the battlefield during the Crusades was multifaceted. It was a practical tool for organization, a morale booster, a symbol of commitment, and a psychological tactic, underlining the complexity of its significance.

Myths and Misconceptions Surrounding the Templar Flag

The Knights Templar, with their potent mix of martial prowess, religious zeal, and mystery, have been the source of numerous myths and misconceptions, and their flag, the Beauceant, is no exception. The Templar flag is often misunderstood or misrepresented, with its stark black-and-white contrast and possible inclusion of the Cross Pattee.

One common misconception is the assumption that the red cross on a white field was the standard Templar flag. While this symbol is indeed associated with the Templars and was used on their mantles, the actual Templar flag, or the Beauceant, distinctly differs from its black and white sections.

Another myth revolves around the meaning of the colors on the Beauceant. Some believe the white and black represent the dual nature of the Templars as warrior monks, with white symbolizing their spiritual side and black their martial side. While this interpretation aligns with the Templar’s dual roles, historically, the colors represent the fight against sin (black) and the pursuit of righteousness (white).

The supposed magical or mystical powers of the Beauceant is another myth associated with the Templar flag. The Templars have been linked with various conspiracy theories and legends involving the Holy Grail, hidden treasures, and secret knowledge. While these stories are intriguing, no historical evidence supports claims of the Beauceant having magical properties or hidden meanings beyond its established symbolism.

Furthermore, the Templars’ demise has fueled misconceptions that the Beauceant is a symbol of rebellion or anti-establishment sentiments. This misinterpretation likely stems from the Templars’ dramatic fall and subsequent persecution.

Navigating the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Templar flag requires a thoughtful approach to historical sources and a discerning eye for separating fact from fiction. The Beauceant, an emblem of an order shrouded in mystery and legend, is best understood in its historical and symbolic context.

The Templar Flag in Popular Culture

The Templars’ influence has extended far beyond their historical era, with the order and its symbols cropping up in numerous areas of modern popular culture. From novels and movies to video games, the Beauceant and other Templar symbols have been used to add an element of mystery, history, and intrigue.

While not always accurately depicted or thoroughly explained, the Beauceant’s usage in popular culture reinforces its recognition and the enduring fascination with the Knights Templar.

Symbolic Legacy of the Beauceant: Its Impact on Modern Heraldry

The Beauceant, the iconic flag of the Knights Templar, has left a lasting imprint on the world of heraldry, the practice of designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and heraldic badges. Its distinctive design and profound symbolism have influenced heraldic designs throughout the centuries, underscoring the enduring allure of the Knights Templar.

The Templar’s Beauceant, with its stark division of black above white, introduced a simple yet effective contrast in heraldic design. The use of such clear, contrasting colors, or ‘tinctures’ in heraldic terminology, created a visually striking emblem that remains legible and recognizable at a distance. This principle has been carried over into many later coats of arms and flags, often employing strong color contrasts for maximum visibility and identification.

Additionally, the Beauceant’s symbolic representation of spiritual and worldly duality through its colors has found echoes in subsequent heraldic designs. Many modern coats of arms include color symbolism that represents virtues, values, or historical elements related to the bearer. The concept of encoding symbolic meanings in the colors of a flag or coat of arms is, in part, a legacy of symbols like the Beauceant.

The Beauceant’s influence can also be seen in the use of the Cross Pattee in modern heraldry. This distinctive form of the cross, often associated with the Templars, appears in numerous coats of arms, signifying a connection to the values and history of the Knights Templar.

The Beauceant’s legacy in modern heraldry is a testament to the enduring influence of the Knights Templar. Its bold design and rich symbolism continue to resonate, reflecting the timeless appeal of this medieval Christian military order. The Beauceant, thus, continues to weave its narrative through the threads of heraldic traditions, cementing its place in the annals of history and symbolism.


While the Knights Templar ceased to exist by the early 14th century, their legacy and symbols continue to captivate. The Beauceant, as the Templar Flag, represents a fascinating piece of this enduring puzzle. More than just a military banner, the Beauceant served as a reminder of the Templar’s dual mission: to fight against ignorance and sin and to strive for purity and enlightenment. As such, it remains a potent symbol of this intriguing and enigmatic order.