The Patriotic 4th Degree


The final level open to members of the Knights of Columbus is that of the Fourth (or Patriotic) Degree. On February 22, 1900, the first exemplification of that degree was held in New York City. The ritual added patriotism to the three original principles of the Order: Charity, Unity and Fraternity. Any Third Degree member in good standing is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree, also known as "The Visible Arm of the Order".

The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship, and a love of loyalty, to the Knights' respective countries through active membership and participation in local Fourth Degree groups called Assemblies. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members, in their local council, to remain in good standing.

Exemplification dress for candidates shall be,  Black or dark (blue or grey) business suit with black socks and black shoes, white dress shirt and tie and candidate identification. Candidates serving in the armed forces of his country, full-time police and firefighters: Class A or dress uniform.

Known as the visible arm of the Knights of Columbus, members of the Fourth Degree can serve as Honor Guards or the Color Corp at civic and religious functions, an activity which has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus organization.