ago, the Order of the Temple Knights (using the Maltese cross, , as their symbol) was
forbidden in European countries by the Pope. However, the order
remained powerful in Portugal since its Master Knight was Prince Henry
of Portugal. The order was renamed Order of Christ, and this sign (withouth the circle) was chosen as
The Portuguese discoveries were made possible much because of the wealth of the order, and the symbol was used on the sails of the Portuguese ships. Since then the symbol has been used widely in Portugal, e.g. on fighter planes, navy ships and soccer team clothes and flags.
Compare with in Group 22.