Heraldic shields and coats of armor on a tombstone are often a sign that it marks the spot of a fallen Knight of Pythias.
Grave of Thomas Andrew (c. 30 Oct 1836 - 9 September 1887), Robinson's Run Cemetery, South Fayette Township, Pennsylvania
©2006 Kimberly Powell
The Order of Knights of Pythias
is an international fraternal organization which was founded in Washington D.C. on February 19, 1864 by Justus H. Rathbone. It began as a secret society for government clerks. At its peak, the Knights of Pythias had close to one million members.
Symbols of the organization often include the letters F B C - which stand for friendship, benevolence and charity the ideals and principles which the order promotes. You may also see the skull and crossbones within a heraldic shield, a knight's helmet or the letters KP or K of P (Knights of Pythias) or IOKP (Independent Order of Knights of Pythias).