Maltese Cross

A symbol used by numerous countries, militaries, health organizations, and churches. It generally symbolizes loyalty, bravery glory, honor, respect for church, and help for the sick and poor, all of which goes back to its beginnings as the symbol of the hospital established by the Order of Saint Lazarus in the 12th century to treat virulent diseases such as leprosy. The Order still exists and currently is providing food, clothing and medical supplies to countries in Eastern Europe and the Mid East.

My version of the Maltese Cross is made of light and dark bamboo, the ultimate renewable wood. It is the fastest-growing plant on earth, having been clocked at 40 inches an hour, almost 4 feet in a day, and over 75 feet in two months. After harvesting in 3 to 8 years, the root simply puts up a new shoot - no re-planting necessary. It grows in poor soils and most climates. Nearly 100% of the bamboo plant is utilized. Maltese Cross is about 3 1/4" (83mm) in diameter and has a clear natural finish.

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Photo by Ted Wathen, Quadrant, Jeffersonville, IN,