At the heart of symbolism

Flags trimmed with a cross


Red Cross flag Danish civil flag

The cross

The sign of the Cross is related to the traditional distinction between vertical and horizontal and to the pre-eminence of the first over the second:

  • The vertical branch of the cross assembles the indefinite multiplicity of the being's states, from the most physical to the most spiritual;
  • The horizontal branch corresponds to the deployment of all being possibilities related to a specific state.

The branch intersection represents so to speak the centre of the considered state. The being centred in that state stands at a vertical point from which he may perceive the totality of all the states offered to him. These states may come under the human domain only or cover the human as well as the spiritual order:

  • In the first case, the so called Greek cross has equal branches in order to bring to the fore the equal possibility of expansion in the horizontal plane corresponding to a single level, the human domain;
  • In the second case, the so-called Latin cross has unequal branches to bring to light the whole extent of the inequal possibilities of expansion alongside the vertical axis related to all levels.

It follows that the countries or international organisations displaying the Greek cross on their flags are emphasizing the human aspect (The Red Cross for instance) whereas those bearing the Latin cross are bringing out the spiritual willingness (Denmark constitutes a good example).

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