Crosses

One of the most common and important heraldic ordinaries and charges is certainly the cross. Many different types of crosses are also featured in many coats of arms belonging to certain Maltese families. There exists an infinite variety of forms of crosses in heraldry among which are:

1. Cross pommy

2. Cross bottony

3. Tau cross

4. Cross recercely

5. Cross paty

6. Cross flory

7. Cross potent

8. Celtic cross

9. Latin cross

10. Maltese Cross

11. Cross formy fitchy

12. Cross formy quadrate

13. Plain Cross

14. Patriarchal Cross

15. Cross crosslet fitchy

Listing all the different types of crosses is a colossal task, as the writer on heraldry, Marcus Vulson de la Colombiere states that there are seventy-two forms, whilst the famed Nicholas Upton dared not even make a guess at the different crosses used in heraldry. A lack of knowledge on the significance of these charges in Malta has caused plenty of confusion in the design of certain family shields. Others have made good use of the cross to differentiate their family branch from another. Although it may be assumed that the cross makes reference to a Christian sentiment or experience, this may not always be the case. Evidence reveals that the image of the cross in heraldry has been used to make reference to several other functions or experiences.

 

 

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