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Fourth Degree Knights

Rank Color
Supreme Master Dark Blue Cape and Chapeau
Vice Supreme Master Light Blue Cape and Chapeau
Master Gold Cape and Chapeau
District Marshall Green Cape and Chapeau
Faithful Navigator White Cape and Chapeau
Assembly Commander Purple Cape and Chapeau
Color Corps Members Red Cape and White Chapeau

The Fourth Degree is the highest degree of the order. Members of this degree are addressed as "Sir Knight". The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism and to encourage active Catholic citizenship. Fewer than 18% of Knights join the Fourth Degree, which is optional; of a total 1,703,307 Knights there were 292,289 Fourth Degree Knights. A Knight is eligible to join the Fourth Degree after six months from the date of his First Degree, providing he has completed the 2nd and 3rd degrees beforehand.

Assemblies are distinct from councils and are led by a separate set of elected officers. The Supreme Board of Directors appoints a Supreme Master, currently Lawrence G. Costanzo, and twenty Vice Supreme Masters to govern the Fourth Degree. Each Vice Supreme Master oversees a Province which is then broken up into Districts. The Supreme Master appoints District Masters to supervise several assemblies.

Each assembly is led by a Navigator. Other elected assembly officers include the Captain, Admiral, Pilot, Scribe, Purser, Comptroller, Sentinels and Trustees. A Friar and Color Corps Commander are appointed by the Navigator. Assembly officers are properly addressed by using the title "faithful" (e.g. Faithful Navigator). Assemblies are numbered in the order in which they chartered into the Order and are named by the local membership.

Only Fourth Degree Knights may optionally purchase the full regalia and may join the Assembly’s Color Corps. The Color Corps is the most visible arm of the Knights as they are often seen in parades and other local events wearing their colorful regalia. Official dress for the Color Corps is a black tuxedo, baldric, white gloves, cape and naval chapeau. In warm climates and during warm months a white dinner jacket may be worn, if done as a unit Baldrics are worn from the right shoulder to left hip and are color specific by nation. In the United States, Panama and the Philippines, baldrics are red, white and blue. Red and white baldrics are used in Canada; red, white and green in Mexico; and blue and white in Guatemala. Service baldrics include a scabbard for a sword and are worn over the coat while social baldrics are worn under the coat. The colors on a Fourth Degree Knight's cape, and chapeau, denote the office he holds within the Degree. Faithful Navigators and Past Faithful Navigators are permitted to carry a white handled silver sword. Masters and Vice Supreme Masters, as well as Former Masters and Former Vice Supreme Masters, are also denoted by their gold swords.

The need for a patriotic degree was first considered in 1886 and a special plea was made at the National Meeting of 1899. The first Fourth Degree exemplification followed in 1900 with 1,100 Knights participating at the Lenox Lyceum in New York City. Today there are more than 2,500 Assemblies.

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