Another degree open to members of the Knights of Columbus is that of the Fourth (or Patriotic) Degree. On February 22, 1900, the first Fourth Degree exemplification or degree ceremony was held in New York City. The Fourth Degree imparts a lesson on the virtue of patriotism. The primary purpose of this degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and encourage active Catholic citizenship. Today there are some 370,159 Fourth Degree Knights out of the total 2+ million member Knights of Columbus.
Local units, called assemblies, draw their members from Knights of Columbus councils. The qualifications for membership in the Fourth Degree are that you be a Third Degree Knight in good standing with your council and the Order. The waiting period for becoming a Fourth Degree Knight has been eliminated. Once you have been bestowed the honor of Knighthood, you will continue your journey in learning the lesson of patriotism. The primary purpose of your Fourth Degree membership is to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large and encourage active Catholic citizenship.
As a Fourth Degree Knight you can participate in the assembly’s color corps. As a color corps member, you will be recognized widely by the uniform. This uniform consists of the Blue Blazer with 4th Degree Crest and Emblem, Gray Trousers, Black Beret with 4th Degree Badge, and 4th Degree Tie. The Beret Patch denotes the officer positions within the Fourth Degree.
Color corps members regularly take part in civic events such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, and in ecclesial functions at Catholic churches.