The eight-pointed white cross, which was the badge of the maritime Republic of Amalfi, was adopted by the Benedictine monks who served in this new hospital. This is the origin of the Order of St. John and its emblem.
The Royal Beasts – the lions passant gardant and the unicorns passant gardant – were added to the St. John cross, thus linking the Order of St. John to British royal patronage.
The eight-pointed St. John cross is flanked by supporting lions passant gardant and unicorns passant gardant in opposite directions. Each of the eight-points carries a virtue, which every member of St. John Ambulance must uphold. They are:
OBSERVATIONThat he may note the causes and signs of injury.
TACT That he may, without thoughtless questions, learn the signs and symptoms and history of the case, and secure the confidence of the patients and bystanders.
RESOURCE That he may use to the best advantage whatever is at hand to prevent further damage and assist Nature’s efforts to repair the mischief already done.
DEXTERITY That he may handle a patient without causing unnecessary pain, and use appliances efficiently and neatly.
EXPLICITNESS That he may give clear instructions to the patients and/ or the bystanders how best to assist him.
DISCRIMINATION That he may decide which of the several injuries should be treated first.
PERSEVERANCE That he may continue his efforts, though not at first successful.
SYMPATHY That he may give real comfort and encouragement to the suffering.