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Dictionary of Vexillology: C (Cross Patence - Crosstree)

Last modified: 2022-10-01 by rob raeside
Keywords: vexillological terms |
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An early heraldic form of cross resembling a cross fleury with expanded arms - see ‘cross fleury’ (also the note below and ‘cross potent’)

Cross patence
Flag of Abingdon-on-Thames, UK (fotw)

Please note that this is not to be confused with a cross potence/potent as referenced above.

A heraldic term for the cross of Lorraine - see ‘cross of Lorraine’.

Cross patriarchal
Flag of Roeselare, Belgium (fotw)

The alternative heraldic terms for a cross that may or may not extend to the outer edges of a shield, flag, canton or panel, whose arms are generally (but not exclusively) flat-ended but which are wider at their outer ends than they are in the centre. These arms can be straight-sided or curved throughout their length, or they can be straight-sided and parallel until being flared at their outer end – a cross formée, formé or formy, a patée, patty or paty cross, a formée, formé or formy cross, or an iron or Hanseatic, Hansa, cavalier or cavalier’s cross – but see ‘Maltese cross’ and ‘rounded cross’ (also ‘cross 2)’ and ‘Cross of the Order of the Knights of Christ’, ).

Cross pattee Cross pattee Cross pattee
House Flag of Christoph Lamprecht, Germany (fotw); Flag of Oensingen, Switzerland (fotw); Burgee of the Monte Real Yacht Club, Spain (fotw)

In strict heraldic usage the correct term for a type of Maltese cross – see ‘Maltese cross 2)’ and ‘cross fourché’ with their following notes (also ‘cross pattée’).

Cross pattee fourche Cross pattee fourche Cross pattee fourche
Flag of Pontével, Portugal (fotw); Arms and Flag of Portel, Portugal (fotw)

A heraldic term for a rounded cross - see ‘rounded cross’.

Cross pattee rounded
Flag of Outeiro Major, Portugal (fotw)

1) In heraldry see ‘cross pattée’ and ‘voided’.
2) A term sometimes (incorrectly) applied to the cross on (for example) the air force roundel of Portugal – see ‘Cross of the Order of the Knights of Christ’ and its following note a).

Cross pattee voided Cross pattee voided
Flag of Cananéia, Brazil (fotw); Air Force Roundel of Portugal showing a Cross of the Knights of Christ (fotw)

The alternative heraldic terms for a cross which does not usually extend to the edges of a shield, flag, canton or panel, but whose arms finish in a roundel (see also ‘cross 2)’, ‘pommeled’ and ‘roundel 3))’

Cross pomel Cross pomel Cross d2574
Flag of Lagoa, Portugal (fotw); Arms and Flag of Santa Cruz, Portugal (fotw)

The alternative heraldic terms for a cross which does not usually extend to the edges of a shield, flag, canton or panel, but whose arms terminate in a transverse bar – a cross potence, or a crutch or Teutonic Cross – but see ‘cross patence’ and its following note (also ‘cross 2)’, ‘cross-cantonée’ and ‘potent 2)’).

Cross potent Cross potent Cross potent
Example; Flag of Goumoëns-la-Ville, Switzerland (fotw); Arms of Fernão Ferro, Portugal (fotw)

The heraldic term for a ‘Jerusalem cross’ – see ‘cross potent’ and ‘cross-cantonée’.

Cross potent canotnee
Flag of Niawier, The Netherlands (fotw)

The heraldic term for a swastika - see ‘swastika’ (also ‘cross potent’).

Cross potent rebated
Flag of Hirosaki, Japan (fotw)

A translation of the Spanish term cruz cuartelada, and German "geviertes Kreuz" sometimes used in place of their (English) heraldic equivalents - see ‘cross counterchanged’ and ‘cross gyronny’ (also ‘cross counter-quartered 2)’).

Bormojus, Spain Palomares del Río, Spain
Flag of Bormujos, Spain (fotw); Flag of Palomares del Río, Spain (fotw)

In heraldry see ‘equipollé’ and its following note.

Ħ'Attard, Malta
Flag of Ħ'Attard, Malta (fotw)

1) See ‘ragged cross’ and ‘raguly’.
2) The heraldic term also used for an upright cross (as opposed to a saltire) whose arms have any number of small regular projections set at an angle on both sides – see ‘raguly’.

cross raguly cross raguly Gloucester, Canada
Flag and Arms of Poshekhon-Volodarsk, Russia (fotw & Wikipedia); Flag of Gloucester, Canada (fotw)

The heraldic term for a cross that may or may not extend to the edges of a shield, flag, canton or panel, but in which the vertical arm does not extend above the horizontal thus creating a letter ‘T’ - a Cross of St Anthony or St Anthony’s Cross, and in some Christian denominations, an advent cross (see also ‘acorn cross’).

cross tau cross tau St Antönien-Ascharina, Switzerland
Flag of Trubschachen, Switzerland (fotw); Example; Flag of St. Antönien-Ascharina, Switzerland (fotw)

A heraldic term that covers a standard cross - ‘cross 1)’.

Pontrieux, France
Flag of Chambéry, France (fotw)

Alternate heraldic terms for a cross botonny - see ‘cross botonny’.

cross trefoil
Flag of the Order of St Maurice, Italy (fotw)

The heraldic term for a cross that may or may not reach the edges of a shield, banner of arms or flag and may be either closed or open-ended, but from which the centre is removed so that the field may be seen through it (see also ‘cross of athletics’ and ‘voided’).

cross voided cross voided cross voided
Flag of the Mouvement Normand, France (fotw); Example; Flag of De Haan, Belgium (fotw)

a) Unless referring to a plain cross, this term is always accompanied by a further description, for example "a cross pattée voided".
b) This term is sometimes (incorrectly used to describe a Cross of the Order of the Knights of Christ as illustrated below – see ‘cross of the Order of the Knights of Christ’.

cross voided
A banner of the Order of the Knights of Christ (fotw)

The image of a medieval weapon used (particularly in Continental Europe) for both war and hunting (see also ‘pavisade’ and its following note)..

crossbow crossbow crossbow
Flags of Oleyres, Immensee, and Hildisrieden, Switzerland (fotw)

1) Short lengths of (occasionally differing) foliage, sometimes with flowers/fruit etc., and sometimes without, which intersect at their lowest point.
2) A phrase occasionally used in place of the more precise terms “garland” and “wreath” – see ‘garland 2)’ and ‘wreath 1)’.

crossed branches crossed branches crossed branches
Flag of 1848, Hungary (fotw); Arms of Pennsylvania, US (fotw); Detail from the National Flag of Turkmenistan (fotw)

The heraldic term used when two or more miniature crosses appear on the same coat of arms – see ‘cross crosslet’ (also ‘coat of arms 2)’).

crosslet crosslet crosslet
Official Flag and Arms of Galicia, Spain (fotw); Flag of Òdena, Spain (fotw)

1) In largely US usage, a yard if fitted to a flag mast ashore (see also ‘yard’).
2) A cross bar attached near the top of an unstayed flagpole for the purpose of providing additional halyards to the one reeved at the truck (see also ‘reeve’, 'yard' and 'stayed mast').

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