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Dictionary of Vexillology: C (Crooked Cross - Cross Equipollé)

Last modified: 2022-10-01 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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See ‘swastika’.

crooked cross
Flag of the Hitler Youth 1933 – 1945, Germany (fotw)

1) Two stripes or bands of equal width (and in the same colour) but of unequal length, that extend to the outer edges of the flag, canton or panel they occupy, and intersect at right angles in the exact centre of that flag, canton or panel – a St George-type cross, a cross fixed, cross throughout, an upright centred, centred, regular or (inaccurately) a square cross – see ‘square cross 1)’ (also ‘St George’s Cross’).
2) A charge, which may or may not reach the outer edges of the shield, flag, canton or panel it occupies, and which may not have straight edges but which has four segments meeting at right angles at a central point – but see note below.
3) A generic name for two stripes of the same colour (although two/three colour variants exist see ‘cross counterchanged’ plus ‘cross gyronny’, ‘tripartite’ and ‘layered cross’) and any width, crossing the field of a flag, panel or canton in any manner (see also ‘saltire’ and ‘Scandinavian cross’).

[cross] [cross] [Pisa, Italy] [cross]
Flag of Savoy, France (fotw); National Flag of Switzerland (fotw); Flag of Pisa, Italy (fotw); State Flag/Naval Ensign of Denmark (fotw).

Please note however, that whilst several of the types used on flags are detailed separately herein – the cross throughout as given in 1) above, the Greek cross, the Celtic cross, the Scandinavian cross, the saltire (or diagonal cross), Cross of Lorraine, the swastika, and the Maltese cross – numerous other variants exist (mostly used in heraldry but which also sometimes appear on flags), and the majority of these are listed below.

An alternative heraldic term for a cross moline - see ‘cross moline’.

 cross anchory example
Flag of Wezembeek-Oppem, Belgium (fotw)

The heraldic term covering a sun cross - see ‘sun cross’ and its following note.

 cross annuletty example
Flag of Otze, Germany (fotw)

The transverse rod, from which a flag is suspended, either attached in the centre or from one end, or hung by cords from a vertical pole or poles (see also ‘banner 2)’, ‘banner 3)’, ‘frame 1)’, ‘frame 2)’, ‘framed flag’, ‘gonfalon’ and ‘vexillum’).

cross bar example cross bar example
Gonfalon of Albano Sant'Alessandro, Italy (fotw); Gonfalon of Baradili, Italy (fotw)

The heraldic term for an arrow cross - see ‘arrow cross’.

Arrow Cross flag
Former Flag of the Falange Venezolana, Venezuela (fotw)

The alternative heraldic terms for a cross that does not usually extend to the edges of a shield, flag, canton or panel, but whose ends each are formed by three discs – a trefoil or treflee cross (see also ‘cross 2)’, ‘disc’ and ‘trefoil’).

cross botonny botonny cross example Vestby
Flag of the Church of Norway (fotw); Arms of Negoslavci, Croatia (fotw); Flag of Vestby, Norway (fotw)

The alternative heraldic terms for a cross which may or may not extend to the edges of a shield, flag, canton or panel, but which has four further crosses (or other charges) arranged around it – a cross cantoned (see also ‘canton 3)’, ‘cantoned 1)’, ‘cross 1)’, ‘cross pattée’, and ‘cross potent’ and ‘cross potent cantonée’).

example national flag of Georgia national flag of Georgia
Example; Flag of Tianeti, Georgia (fotw); Arms of The Kingdom of Jerusalem c1200 (CS)

Please note as may be seen in the illustrations above, various types of cross can be used to make up a cross cantonée, and that a Jerusalem Cross (a cross-potent cantonée constructed of a cross-potent and four Greek crosses or of five crosses-potent) is one specific type.

The heraldic term for a Celtic cross - see ‘Celtic cross

Celtic cross Celtic cross
Flag and Logo of the Church in Wales, UK (fotw)

The heraldic term for a cross that does not generally extend to the edges of a shield, flag, panel or flag, but whose arms are in the form of (usually irregular) lozenges or fusils – a cross-lozengy or cross-fusilly (see also ‘cross 2)’, ‘cross of Pisa’, ‘fusil’, ‘lozenge’ and ‘occitan cross’).

arms - Mogilany, Poland flag - Mogilany, Poland
Arms and Flag of Woltwiesche, Germany (fotw)

The heraldic term for a cross that generally extends to the edges of a shield, panel, banner of arms or flag, and which is divided along its horizontal and vertical centre-line with the tinctures of the field and cross usually (but not exclusively) alternating in adjacent quarters – a counterchanged cross or cross counter-quartered – but compare with ‘cross gyronny’ (see also ‘counterchanged’, ‘cross 2)’, ‘Dominican cross’, ‘quarter 2)’ and ‘tincture’).

[cross-counterchanged] [cross-counterchanged] [cross-counterchanged]
Flag and Arms of Zaprešić, Croatia (fotw); Flag of Kreis Davos, Switzerland (fotw)

Please note that a cross that is divided only along either its horizontal or vertical centre-line is properly blazoned using a full description – for example, “party per fess argent and azure a cross-humetty counterchanged" as shown below.

Flag of Zurrieq, Malta (fotw)

1) See ‘cross counterchanged’.
2) The term that may also be used when the centre of a cross of this general type is obscured as illustrated below - see ‘cross gyronny’.

[cross-counterquartered] [cross-counterquartered] [cross-counterquartered]
Flag and Arms of Tursko, Czechia (fotw); Flag of Palomares del Río, Spain (fotw)

A heraldic term sometimes used when a cross (either plain or decorated) does not extend to edges of a shield, banner of arms or flag (see also ‘couped 2)’ and ‘Greek cross’).

cross of eight points cross couped [Pisa, Italy]
Flag of Mozhginsky District, Russia (fotw); National Flag of Tonga (fotw); Flag of Pisa, Italy (fotw)

Please note that, unless referring to a plain cross, this term is always accompanied by a further description, for example a “Cross of Pisa couped” as illustrated above, or a “cross crosslet couped” as shown in the following definition.

The heraldic term for a cross which does not usually extend to the edges of a shield, flag canton or panel, but whose arms have a short transverse bar inserted (see also ‘cross 2)’).

botonny cross botonny cross botonny cross
Flag of Dobrzyca, Poland (fotw); Flag of Costuleni, Moldova (fotw); Flag of Echt, The Netherlands (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘engrailed’.

cross engrailed cross engrailed
Arms and Flag of Espinho, Portugal (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘equipollé’.

Sé, Portugal Sé, Portugal
Arms and Flag of , Portugal (fotw)

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