Religious Symbolism – Cross Types

The ties between all religious beliefs and symbolism have always been strong. To the Christians the greatest symbolic message is in the crucifix. The crucifix or cross can generate many symbolic messages ranging from love, faith and goodness to terror and fear (e.g. the Ku-Klux-Klan’s use of the burning cross). There are many different types of Christian crosses worldwide, but only a handful are common in North America.

Latin Cross
One of the oldest symbols of Christianity and the most commonly used form, it is also the simplest in design. In early times, it was called god’s mark
Greek Cross
It has four arms equal in length and is the traditional symbol of Christian faith. The equal length drawings of the cross is pre-Christian, and in paganism, represented the four elements – earth, air, fire and water.
Calvary Cross
A latin cross standing on three steps or blocks, it signifies faith, hope and love. Love is sometimes replaced by charity<
Fleuree Cross/Gothic Cross
This flowered cross symbolizes the adult Christian by its more opened flared out ends
Ionic Cross
Similar to the Celtic Cross, it’s ends flair outward. The ionic cross signifies everlasting salvation, love and glory.
Eastern Cross
Used in Orthodox (Russian/Greek) Christian Religions, this cross upper horizontal shoulder representing the inscription over the head of Jesus. The lower slanting shoulder represents the footrest of the crucified Jesus.
Botonee Cross
So named because of its modified trefoil (three-lobed) ends, represents the trinity
Celtic Cross
The circle around the crosspiece symbolizes eternity. It’s origin can be traced to the Celtic cultures of the British Isles.