By 1113 , Pope Pascal II recognized the group as an Order. The Order’s transition from a hospitaller order to a military order, parallels the creation of the Knights Templar in 1119. Simply put, the Order needed to recruit Knights for protection of the pilgrims, as the number of pilgrims coming to the Holy Lands increased.
The symbol of the Order a/k/a the Hospitallers, is the 8 pointed Cross, this was adopted from the Italian Republic of Amalfi, the original benefactor of the Hospital in Jerusalem. The Order was identified in battle by black surcoats with a white cross covering their breast. Their flag, a white cross on a red background.
In contrast, the Knights Templar wore white surcoats with a red cross and the Teutonic Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross.