What's this red cross ring?
July 9, 2006 1:54 PM   Subscribe

What's the meaning of this ring?

I saw this ring on a distinguished-looking older man on the metro in Northern Virginia and can't identify it. I thought it might be a St. George's Cross, but it's not quite right (the cross doesn't reach the edge of the white area).

What is it? This has been driving us nuts.
posted by timetoevolve to Grab Bag (17 answers total)
The cross appears to be a Greek cross, though I can find no instances of such rings on google.
posted by datacenter refugee at 2:03 PM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: It's a common ring for christians to wear. I've seen them sold at fairs. I doubt it really has any meaning. My SO has one.
posted by SpecialK at 2:05 PM on July 9, 2006

It could be the symbol of a fraternal organization. I can't seem to find any references to any with a red cross, but of course searching for "red cross" has its complications.
posted by neckro23 at 2:09 PM on July 9, 2006

Looks like Christian cross variant to me.
posted by limeonaire at 2:18 PM on July 9, 2006

Aha! It appears to be the symbol of the Knights Templar.
posted by neckro23 at 2:23 PM on July 9, 2006

For whatever it's worth, that's also the symbol which Germany and Austria used on their planes during the Great War. But I doubt that's what the ring refers to.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:23 PM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: It's not a knights templar ring. Modern KT are York Rite Masons and their emblem looks like this and their rings look like this.
To me, it looks like a simple christian ring. I've seen catholic priests wear similar ones.
posted by mattbucher at 2:53 PM on July 9, 2006

Response by poster: My husband thought it was probably a Catholic ring. Googling turned up nothing similar, which is why I turned to AskMe.

I'm guessing it's just a vaguely Christian ring, too, but the KT explanation is a lot more fun. :)
posted by timetoevolve at 3:30 PM on July 9, 2006

I also think of that as greek orthodox, though I am not surprised it can be found on jewelry of more generic christians. A standard cross wouldn't fit well on a ring; this has the design advantage of being equal in both dimensions.
posted by mdn at 4:42 PM on July 9, 2006

This man is the pope.
posted by rikschell at 5:39 PM on July 9, 2006

His finger is secured to his hand with a phillips-head screw.
posted by curtm at 8:35 PM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It looks like some form of the variation of the Greek cross called a cross pattée (a cross with equal length arms and flared edges). The article gives plenty of suggestions to fuel the imagination including, yes, the Knights Templar connection.

(And don't be fooled by what they're saying about the "official" Templar symbols... do you think the REAL Knights Templar - you know, the ones ruling the world - would show their secret symbols on some website?)
posted by nanojath at 10:05 PM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: To be sure its the correct symbol you're trying to get the meaning of, does it look like this or this?
Or you can start here to do the investigation for yourself at the cool symbols.com db.
posted by [this is good] at 10:46 PM on July 9, 2006

Response by poster: nanojath, I'm almost positive it's like the second cross pattée, with just a bit of curvature.

[this is good], that's a great link. It's been a while since I took the picture, but I'm pretty sure it's more like 28:33 (rikschell, maybe it was the pope!).

It's not exact, though, and that's what been driving me nuts.
posted by timetoevolve at 6:56 AM on July 10, 2006

Response by poster: Also, I should have just asked him what it meant. Damn all this public transportation politesse!
posted by timetoevolve at 6:58 AM on July 10, 2006

It might be the ring of a member of the modern International Order of the Knights Templar, a civic charity organization that raises money for the poor, the needy, and the sick around the world. You can read about them at : www.knights-templar.osmth.org/
posted by rolfecat at 8:52 PM on October 17, 2006

posted by rolfecat at 8:53 PM on October 17, 2006 [1 favorite]

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