What is this cross-based symbol?
April 9, 2014 3:20 PM   Subscribe

What is this cross-based symbol, as if from a coat of arms or a flag or banner? The image I've linked to is an approximate representation roughly drawn without skill from memory. The closest I've found is the flag of (the country) Georgia, but there are some differences: (1) Georgia's is a lighter red, (2) it's missing the end caps on the main cross, (3) its minor crosses have curves, and (4) it's overall elongated horizontally rather than squared.
posted by Flunkie to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A Jerusalem Cross

Specifically, check out the Order of the Holy Sepulcher.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:25 PM on April 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Jerusalem cross looks pretty similar - it's a crusader symbol.
posted by LionIndex at 3:26 PM on April 9, 2014

I didn't find the answer but I did a google image search for images like yours, and got a kind of amazing set of responses.
posted by amandabee at 3:26 PM on April 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

Since this is an ancient symbol with a lot of history, there can be any number of variants -- it isn't strictly defined like a modern flag. GIS shows many of them. They're used by religious orders, Masonic lodges, and even a "warrior talk" forum. Yours looks like it is probably a generic free (?) bitmap image rather than a representation of a specific instance -- I found very similar versions on swag like coffee cups and t-shirts.
posted by dhartung at 4:56 PM on April 9, 2014

Our church has a Jerusalem Cross on the doors to the santuary. Our guidebook says:

"This cross was first used as a coat of arms for the Latin Kingdom in Jerusalem during the Crusades. These remind us that the Church and its members have at times succumbed to the temptation of fear, power and violence in ways that are unfaithful to the glad tidings of peace promised at the birth of the Prince of Peace. Thus, we are reminded that repentance is a basic Christian practice and humility a basic Christian virtue.

Still, the Jerusalem Cross is a positive symbol:

The larger central cross stands for the person of Christ and the four smaller crosses are the four Gospels proclaimed to the four corners of the earth, beginning in Jerusalem. Together, they symbolize our focu on Christ and our commitment to proclaiming his good news to the world."

posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:52 PM on April 9, 2014

A detail tangential the to OPs question: the central element in the Jerusalem Cross is the Cross Potent. There is apparently evidence that this form is derived from an ancient Chinese graph meaning 'magician' or 'shaman'.

(Had been reading about; just thought was neat, if true.)
posted by bertran at 8:32 PM on April 9, 2014

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