What are the Knights of Saint Andrew?
The Knights of the Order of Saint Andrew, or KSA, is a group of Masters of the Royal Secret (32°) dedicated to serving the Des Moines Valley at large. The KSA provides critical support to all of the committees of the Valley, assists at events when needed, and promotes active membership in the Valley. Some examples of what the KSA does includes:
- Perform the 28°- Knight Commander of the Temple
- Provide members to assist all of the Valley’s Committees
- Assist in the annual Scottish Rite Golf Tournament to benefit RiteCare.
- Manage the displays in the Albert Pike Room.
- Promote Scottish Rite Masonic education through the Master Craftsman Program.
- Serve several roles at special Valley events.
Who are the Knights of Saint Andrew?
Membership in KSA is limited to Masters of the Royal Secret (32°) who are members of the Des Moines Valley in good standing. Those who have been honored with the Knight Commander Court of Honor (32° KCCH) or coroneted with the Inspector General Honorary (33°) are not eligible for membership. Those who have been honored with the 32° KCCH or coroneted with the 33° who were members of the KSA while a 32° are emeritus members of the KSA.
How did the Knights of Saint Andrew start?
The origins of the Order date back to the period of 1220-1232 AD, when a Confraternity was established in the City of Acre, of the then Crusader Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (occupying the same territory as the modern state of Israel) to protect pilgrims and merchants.
This Confraternity, consisting of burgesses and knights of largely French heritage, met in the City’s Castle and chose the Holy Apostle, St. Andrew, as their Patron. They constituted themselves as a Crusading Order of Knights with the object of resisting tyranny and protecting public safety.
During the turmoil of the Sixth Crusade, these worthies of the Order defended the poor, the sick and the weak from adversaries. In the best tradition of the Military and Religious Orders of the time, they founded their lives on prayer, charity, service and protection.
About this time, possession of Acre was being contested by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II operating from his base in Sicily. Through his marriage to Yolande, daughter of John of Brienne, a leading Crusader, the Emperor had become embroiled in the affairs of the Crusader states. The Emperor sent a fleet of ships against Acre in 1227, whereupon the Knights and Officers of St. Andrew of Jerusalem appealed to Pope Gregory IX, who excommunicated the Emperor for this action.
During the subsequent negotiations with the Muslims by the Emperor Frederick, the Knights of St. Andrew remained aloof. Though some progress for the Crusaders appeared at first to have seen made, their adherence to treaty commitments made at that time eventually enabled an army of Turks in pay of the Sultan of Egypt, to crush the remaining Crusader enclaves by about 1244.
It was at about this juncture that the existing historical records of the Knights of St. Andrew were lost. It is speculated that the records may have been transported to the Byzantium in hope of safekeeping, only to be lost yet again when the city fell to the Turks in 1453.
The modern KSA has become a group that exists throughout many Valleys nationwide. It started in the Valley of Guthrie Oklahoma, and was meant to provide a social and service setting for the newest Scottish Rite Masons.
The KSA in the Des Moines Valley was established by the Personal Representative to the SGIG, William Knoll 33° and the Valley Advisory Conference with the first knighting occurring on February 11, 2009. Since its inception, the Des Moines KSA has continued to evolve and grow, with a new knighting ceremony introduced at the June 13, 2012 knighting.
How are the Knights of Saint Andrew structured?
Each Valley’s KSA is unique. As there is no national governing body for KSA, each Valley is given great latitude to organize their KSA as best fits with their Valley. In Des Moines, there are only two official officers of the KSA: the Commander, and the Secretary. Both serve at the will and pleasure of the Personal Representative of the SGIG and the Valley’s Advisory Conference in consultation with the Valley Secretary/Recorder. The Commander and Secretary are selected by the Personal Representative of the SGIG and the Valley’s Advisory Conference in consultation with the Valley Secretary/Recorder, and then confirmed through a vote by the KSA membership.
How are the Knights of Saint Andrew recognized?
In the Des Moines Valley, there are two distinguishing items that are worn only by KSA members:
The KSA Jewel
The jewel is worn anytime the Valley membership wears their Scottish Rite caps. The jewel is and suspended from a green ribbon around the neck, or worn as a pocket badge on the left pocket of a member’s jacket. It is often referred to as a ‘boat anchor’ by members of the KSA in Des Moines given to it’s heft.
The KSA Lapel Pin
The lapel pin for the KSA is unique to the Des Moines Valley. It is most often worn on the lapel of a member’s jacket, on the side of the Scottish Rite cap, or on the collar of their shirt when not in formal attire.
How can I join the Knights of Saint Andrew?
Joining the Order is easy. Simply fill out a petition, and pay the necessary fees to the Valley office, and you will be considered a member of the Order. Petitions are available below or from the Valley office. Once you attend a knighting ceremony, you will receive your jewel, lapel pin, and patent certifying your membership. Knightings are held twice a year, however, once your petition and fees have been received, you are eligible for the full rights, responsibilities, and honors of the Order. Once the Valley office notifies the Commander and/or Secretary of your membership, you will receive a message with how to get started in the Order.
Click here for a membership petition.