Crosses in S.C.A. Heraldry: Period Crosses

Period crosses (i.e., those that were used in heraldry in the 16th century or before) have certain advantages over all others where both considerations of style and conflict-checking are concerned. Specifically, "Armorial elements are registerable if they are attested in period European armory.. . .Elements used in arms, in badges, and in crests all meet this standard," and, "Types of charges considered distinct in period are considered distinctly changed." (the S.C.A's Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory, Parts A.2.B.1 and A.5.G.4)

I have done my best to identify all period cross types registered in the S.C.A. or mentioned in S.C.A. precedents, and to collect information on them on this page. In some cases, where I've been able neither to find a period emblazon showing a particular cross type nor find a precedent explicitly describing it as modern or period, I've had to guess at whether it belonged here or with the modern crosses. If you spot an error, please let me know. (But don't expect me to take your word that a cross is "ancient". I'll need to see some evidence that it was used in period heraldry to move it here.)

These tables don't necessarily include every precedent related to any given type of cross that was ever issued. I intentionally left out those that have been explicitly overruled and avoided including multiple precedents that state and re-state the same information, and it is always possible that I've missed a ruling here or there by accident. Please consult the precedents yourself if you need comprehensive information on everything that's ever been said about a particular cross.

Please note: Under "rulings and precedents" in the tables below, the phrase "ordinary cross" is often used where the unmodified "cross" would be used in blazon, to avoid any confusion that might arise from a statement like, "A cross formy throughout is significantly different from a cross."

Period Crosses Grouped into Families for Conflict Checking

Any cross included in any family is considered substantially changed (as defined in the S.C.A's Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory, Part GP.4.D) from any cross in any other family, per the cover letter to the May, 2009 LoAR (where the term "substantially different" is used). Every such cross must, however, still be compared individually with other crosses in its own family and with crosses not part of any family.

 family    sample emblazons rulings and precedents

plain crosses couped, including Latinate and humetty 

 

There has been one registration in which the term "Greek cross" was used to blazon an equal-armed cross couped.

 

Argent, three crosses couped gules.

BSB Cod.icon. 390, folio 851

Argent, a Latin cross couped sable.

BSB Cod.icon. 267, folio 93r

on charges within the family only:

"At this time we will formally adopt the definition that any ordinary humetty is couped parallel to the edge of the field. It is an artistic variation of couped; no difference will be granted between the two." (March, 2011 LoAR)

The use of an inverted Latin cross is, in and of itself, not offensive (October, 1998 LoAR).

Special rules apply to the use of crosses couped gules.

On a tower or castle, "Cross that appear to be arrow slits, such as plain crosses. . .will be treated as architectural details - not as tertiary charges," (January, 2008 LoAR), and "artistic details are allowed to have poor contrast," (November, 2009 LoAR).

A cross couped is significantly different from an ordinary cross (January, 2003 LoAR).

related to charges outside the family:

A cross couped is significantly different from a cross of four lozenges (April, 1996 LoAR).

cross humetty

 

crosses flory, floretty, patonce, clechy, Calatrava, and Santiago 

 

"a Cross of Cleves is a Latin Cross fleury" (September 1973)

 

Gules, a cross flory argent and in canton an escallop Or.

BSB Cod.icon. 291, folio 24v

 

Gules, a cross floretty argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 290, folio 28r

on charges within the family only:

"Crosses flory may be both voided and fimbriated. . .." (December, 2009 LoAR)

A cross clechy may be voided. (December, 2007 LoAR)

"The cross of Santiago is one of the more variable forms of period crosses. . .. The bottom arm of the cross is always fitchy. . ..The side arms are an often-flamboyant sort of flory. The top arm ranges from a standard flory, to a subdued form of flory, to a round- or card-pique-shaped 'sword hilt' shape." (July, 2003 LoAR)   ". . .[A]n examination of crosses of Santiago from period or shortly after show that the bottom arm of the cross does not necessarily have a flare in the lower limb.. . .We are therefore adjusting our definition of a cross of Santiago to include crosses without a sword-shaped flare to the lower limb." (December, 2013 LoAR)

The difference between a Cross of Santiago and a cross flory fitchy is a flare in the lower limb of the latter (November, 2008 LoAR).  ". . .[T]here is not sufficient difference between a cross of Santiago and a cross fleury fitchy. We have traditionally not granted difference for the fitching of a cross." (December, 2013 LoAR)

". . .[A] cross of Calatrava does not have the arms intersecting anywhere except at the center: the arms come straight out, split, each piece heads back towards the center, but the arms do not touch anywhere after the split." (April, 2011 LoAR)

"Barring such a depiction in period, the petals [of a cross fleuretty] should not be joined to the cross." (April, 2015 LoAR)

A cross clechy with the bottom half of the lower limb extended into a long point is not a cross clechy fitchy at the foot.  It is an undocumented form not registerable without documentation (September, 2007 LoAR).

A cross clechy is significantly different from a Cross of Santiago (November, 2005 LoAR) and is a Distinct Change from a cross fleury (October, 2015 LoAR).

A cross fleury is not significantly different from a cross patonce (May, 1994 LoAR), a Cross of Santiago (December, 1997 LoAR), or a Cross of Calatrava (January, 2005 LoAR).

A Latin cross flory [or a Cross of Cleves--see the quote in the far left column] is not significantly different from a Cross of Santiago (September, 1996 LoAR).

A properly drawn cross patonce is splayed along its arms, not just at the ends.  (January, 2012 LoAR)  A cross patonce is not significantly different from a Cross of Santiago (March, 2001 LoAR) or a cross clechy (July, 2004 LoAR).

related to charges outside the family:

"A key cross is a period charge found in the arms of Pisa. It is defined as a cross clechy pommety at the points." (January, 2006 LoAR)

"The cross of Cerdańa is a minor artistic variant of a cross clechy" (July, 2002 LoAR)

"The cross formy floretty may be found in period armory. ." (December, 2003 LoAR)

"A properly drawn cross formy fitched at the foot would have the arms clearly separated." (July, 2014 LoAR)

A cross patonce is substantially different from a Bowen cross (September, 2004 LoAR), significantly different from a cross avellane (September, 2009 LoAR), and a significant change from a cross annulety (January, 2016 LoAR),

A cross clechy is substantially different from a Cross of Saint Brigid (September, 2006 LoAR)

A cross of Santiago is substantially different from two links of chain fretted in cross and from an ankh (November, 2005 LoAR).

A cross fleury is significantly different from a cross of four ermine spots (December, 2002 LoAR), four fleurs-de-lys in cross (August, 1993 LoAR), four fleurs-de-lys bases to center (June, 2007 LoAR), and a Celtic cross (January, 2000 LoAR) and a significant change from a cross annulety (January, 2016 LoAR), but not significantly differet from a Cross of Calatrava (January, 2005 LoAR).

A cross crosslet fleury is significantly different from a crux stellata (July, 1996 LoAR).

A cross swallowtailed is significantly different from a cross patonce and a cross fleury (March, 1993 LoAR).

A Cross of Calatrava is substantially different from a cross of four ermine spots (March, 2011 LoAR), but not significantly different from a cross of four anchors (September, 1990 LoAR) or a cross fleury (January, 2005 LoAR).

Note: A cross clechy has a lot in common with a cross lozenged.

cross patonce

Joseph Foster's 1902 Some Feudal Coats of Arms, page 125

cross clechy

Volume III of William Berry's 1828 Encyclopędia Heraldica, Plate XXXV

 

a cross of Santiago issuant from a mount between two escallops

BSB Cod.icon. 308, folio 41r

 

Cross of Calatrava

derived from an image by WarX available under a GNU Free Documentation License

crosses crosslet and bottony

 

There was one registration, in 1973, of a cross bottony blazoned as a cross "trefly".

A cross crosslet saltirewise (i.e., rotated 45 degrees, so that the members form an "x" instead of a "t") is at least sometimes blazoned as a "Cross of Saint Julian".

 

Or, a cross crosslet sable.  

BSB Cod.icon. 392 d, folio 141v

 

Sable, a cross bottony Or.

BSB Cod.icon. 308 u, folio 209r

on charges within the family only:

"It is important to recall that the cross bottony and the cross crosslet are both used to represent the same charge throughout our period's heraldry. The bottony form is found predominantly in earlier artwork, and the crosslet form predominantly in later artwork." (August, 2002 LoAR) Consequentially, a cross crosslet is not significantly different from a cross bottony (December, 1999 LoAR).

"Black Stag has shown that, in period, a cross crosslet/bottony fitchy had a bottom limb significantly longer than the other three. Thus these do not need to be blazoned Latin." (August, 2007 LoAR)

A cross crossletted only on the upper three arms has no difference from a standard cross crosslet.  (January, 2013 LoAR)

"The default crusilly is of crosses crosslet." (August, 2002 LoAR)

Neither a cross crosslet (June, 2004 LoAR) nor a cross bottony (December, 1993 LoAR) can be voided or fimbriated.

related to charges outside the family:

A cross crosslet is substantially different from a cross of four anchors (September, 1990 LoAR) and from a Bowen cross (October, 2006 LoAR).

A cross crosslet is significantly different from a Celtic cross (December, 1998 LoAR).

A cross crosslet fleury is significantly different from a crux stellata (July, 1996 LoAR).

A patriarchal cross bottony throughout is significantly different from a cross bottony and a cross crosslet (February, 1994 LoAR).

A cross bottony or crosslet is not significantly different from a cross of four swords conjoined at the points (July, 2004). Introducing a little space between the points of four swords in cross, pommels outward, might not be enough to create a significant difference, either, if the overall impression is of a single cross (July, 2005 LoAR).

A cross bottony is not significantly different from a cross doubly pommeled. (April, 2010 LoAR)

A cross avellane is distinctly changed from a cross bottony. (June, 2015 LoAR)

"No documentation was provided that [a cross patee bottony], which looks like a cross bottony with added flanges, was a reasonable variant of period crosses." (July, 1999 LoAR)

"A [doubled cross crosslet] appears on page 416 of Raneke, Svenska Medeltidsvapen. Another appears in 1548 issuant from a trimount as the arms of Hungary on plate 92 of Vigil Rabers Neustifter Wappenbuch, by Harwick W. Arch. It is therefore registerable and not a step from period practice." (April, 2010 LoAR)

"There is substantial difference between a cross glandular and a cross of Saint Julian." (July, 2012 LoAR)


crosses moline, sarcelly, recercelly, anchory, fourchy, fourchetty, and miller 

Note: "Anchory" is a term sometimes used to describe a cross moline with very curly ends. "Sarcelly" and "recercelly" are alternate terms (the latter, at least, no longer used in the S.C.A.) for a cross moline disjointed.

 

A miller cross is sometimes blazoned as a "cross mill-rind".

The cross fourchetty was not mentioned in the original letter defining cross families, but was added in the March, 2012 LoAR.

 

Argent, a cross moline sable.

BSB Cod. icon. 390, folio 582

 

Argent, a cross moline sable.

BSB Cod. icon. 307, folio 65

on charges within the family only:

"Recercely" is an ambiguous term and should not be used in S.C.A. blazon (September, 1995 LoAR).

"A cross moline is too complex to fimbriate." (July, 1999 LoAR)

"Crosses moline disjointed have unmistakably forked and curled ends." "It should be noted that when charges are put on a cross moline disjointed, they obscure the identifiability of the cross somewhat;. . .Special care should be taken with the artwork to preserve identifiability of all elements of the armory." (April, 2002 LoAR)

". . .the ends of a cross moline are pointed and deeply curved. . ."; a similar cross with the ends couped flat and only slightly curved should be blazoned "a cross fourchy" (January, 2004 LoAR)

A cross moline is not significantly different from a cross miller (April, 1986 LoAR).

The cross fourchetty is significantly different from a cross moline. (March, 2012 LoAR)

related to charges outside the family:

A cross moline disjointed is substantially different from a cross crescenty (October, 2005 LoAR) and from two links of chain fretted in cross (August 2011 LoAR).

A cross moline is substantially different from an ankh (June, 1996 LoAR).

A cross moline is significantly different from a cross pointed (August, 1990 LoAR), a cross patonce (November, 1992 LoAR), a cross couped of three crossbars missing the dexter base arm (May, 2001 LoAR), and a cross swallowtailed (May, 2010 LoAR).

A cross moline is not significantly different from a cross doubly pommeled elongated palewise (February, 1997 LoAR).

 

There is registered one piece of armory containing"two millrinds in cross" in which the arrangement is virtually indistinguishable from a cross moline nowy quadrate square-pierced.

 

Argent, a cross moline sable.

BSB Cod. icon. 390, folio 747

 

Argent, a cross moline sable.

BSB Cod. icon 392 d, folio 149

Azure, an orle of crosses bottony, overall a cross moline disjointed gules.

from a photo of 16th-century stained glass on Plate 20 of F. Sydney Eden's 1927 The Collection of Heraldic Stained Glass at Ronaele Manor

 

Argent, a cross fourchetty sable.

BSB Cod. icon. 390, folio 500

 

cross fourchy

Volume III of William Berry's 1828 Encyclopędia Heraldica, Plate XXXIII

 

miller cross

Volume III of William Berry's 1828 Encyclopędia Heraldica, Plate XXXIII

crosses formy / paty 

Note: "Paty" is used here in the usual S.C.A. sense, as an alternative (now disallowed but used in some older blazons) to the term "formy". It does not refer to anything in the moline family.

   

Azure, a cross formy Or.

BSB Cod.icon. 391, folio 191v

on charges within the family only:

Because it is an ambiguous term, the use of "paty" in S.C.A. armory has been abandoned (cover letter to the August, 1986 LoAR, as quoted in the Precedents of the S.C.A. College of Arms for the tenure of Baldwin of Erebor).

". . .[A] cross formy should have the arms splaying outwards from the center, not just at the very end." (July, 2012 LoAR)

A cross formy nowy quadrate is simple enough to fimbriate (July, 2004 LoAR), but a cross formy fitched at the foot is not (November, 2009 LoAR).

A cross formy throughout is significantly different from a cross formy (May, 1997 LoAR) and from an ordinary cross (November, 2003 LoAR).

"There is no difference between a cross formy and a Latin cross formy." (October, 2002 LoAR)

related to charges outside the family:

"No documentation was provided that [a cross patee bottony], which looks like a cross bottony with added flanges, was a reasonable variant of period crosses." (July, 1999 LoAR)

"The cross formy floretty may be found in period armory. . ." (December, 2003 LoAR)

A cross formy is significantly different from a Canterbury cross (October, 1994 LoAR), a cross barby (September, 2002 LoAR), a cross swallowtailed (July, 1999 LoAR), a Bowen cross (May, 1995 LoAR), and a cross bretessed (January, 2003 LoAR).

A cross formy throughout is significantly different from an ordinary cross (November, 2003 LoAR).

A Latin cross formy is significantly different from a Celtic cross (December, 2001 LoAR).

A cross formy quadrate is substantially different from a cross barby (September, 2007 LoAR).

There's no significant difference between a cross patty fitchy and a cross patty convex fitchy. (July, 1985 LoAR)

crosses doubled, patriarchal, and Lorraine 

 

In December of 1991 a "Lithuanian cross" was registered. In the May, 2009 LoAR, it was described as "a cross couped that has two horizontal crossbars of equal length each equally distant from the ends of the vertical bar," and reblazoned "a double cross".

 

Sable, a doubled cross argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 265, folio 65v

 

Argent, a cross Lorraine sable.

BSB Cod.icon. 265, folio 62v

on charges within the family only:

"Crosses patriarchal may not be fimbriated. . .." (July, 2010 LoAR)

related to charges outside the family:

A patriarchal cross is substantially different from an ordinary cross (February, 2000 LoAR).

A tau cross double-crossed potent at the foot is significantly different from a double cross (February, 1991 LoAR).

A cross Lorraine is significantly different from a Russian Orthodox cross (December, 2004 LoAR).

A patriarchal cross bottony throughout is significantly different from a cross bottony and a cross crosslet (February, 1994 LoAR).

"A [doubled cross crosslet] appears on page 416 of Raneke, Svenska Medeltidsvapen. Another appears in 1548 issuant from a trimount as the arms of Hungary on plate 92 of Vigil Rabers Neustifter Wappenbuch, by Harwick W. Arch. It is therefore registerable and not a step from period practice." (April, 2010 LoAR)

 

Per pale sable, an eagle dimidiated of the line of division Or, and gules, a patriarchal cross formy argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 391, folio 167r

the cross potent / billety 

Note: "Billety" is, in this case, nothing more than an alternative way of saying "potent".

   

Gules, a cross potent ermine.

BSB Cod.icon. 291, folio 23r

on charges within the family only:

A cross potent is too complex to fimbriate (December, 1995 LoAR).

related to charges outside the family: 

"In the SCA, a Cross of Jerusalem is a cross potent between four crosses couped." (May, 1982 LoAR)

A cross potent is significantly different from a cross of four anchors (September, 1990 LoAR).

A cross potent quadrate is significantly different from a Canterbury cross (October, 1994 LoAR).

the tau cross 

 

There have been a few registrations in which a tau cross was blazoned a "Cross of St. Anthony" or a "Cross of St. Antony"

   

Azure, a tau cross Or.

BSB Cod.icon. 392 d, folio 141r

Quarterly azure, a straight tau cross throughout, and Or, a dog sejant erect sable perched on a mount gules.

BSB Cod.icon. 307, page 142

on charges within the family only:

"A straight tau cross looks like a capital T. A normal tau cross has formy arms." (March, 1982 LoAR)

If a tau cross were throughout, ". . .the limbs would reach the edges of the shield, but the crossbar would not become the 'chief.'" (May, 1986 LoAR)

A tau cross swallowtailed is unusual, but "has been formed on the model of the Maltese cross" and is therefore acceptable for use in Society armory (May, 1989 LoAR).

related to charges outside the family:

A tau cross is substantialy different from an ordinary cross (November, 2002 LoAR).

A cross avellane is "at least [distinctly changed]" from a tau cross.  (June, 2015 LoAR)

A tau cross double-crossed potent at the foot is significantly different from a double cross (February, 1991 LoAR).

the Cross of Calvary 

 

There is one registration from 1979 in which a cross mounted on steps is blazoned "grady" instead of "of Calvary".

   

Gules, an equal-armed Cross of Calvary argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 391, folio 171r

on charges within the family only:

". . .a cross of Calvary would have the cross larger than the steps. . ." (December, 2006 LoAR)

related to charges outside the family:

A Cross of Calvary is significantly different from a Celtic cross. (October, 2008 LoAR)

the Cross of Toulouse 

   

Per pale Or and gules, a Cross of Toulouse counterchanged.

BSB Cod.icon. 270, folio 91r

on charges within the family only:

"A cross of Toulouse, which is a period charge, is effectively a cross clechy pometty on the points and is voided by definition." (December, 2007 LoAR)

"[T]he 'voiding' of the cross of Toulouse is a part of its definition and is not the addition of a tertiary charge." (August, 1995 LoAR)

A cross of Toulouse cannot be charged unless evidence is found of "framing of charges by voided crosses" in period. (January, 2015 LoAR)

the cross gringoly 

 

Note: This spelling is given in the cover letter defining cross families, but all the registered examples are blazoned "cross gringolé" in the online O&A.

   

Or, a cross gringoly sable.

BSB Cod.icon. 392 d, folio 100r
"we would not register a cross/saltire gringolé voided (with the voiding being gringolé as well)" (December, 2004 LoAR)

the cross pomelly / bourdonny 

Note: These are alternate terms for the same sort of cross--"pomelly" after the pomels of swords, "bourdonny" after the heads of bourdons (pilgrims' staves).

 

In some instances, the College of Arms has also blazoned such crosses "pommy" and "pometty".

   

Gules, a cross pomelly Or, overall an escutcheon sable charged with an eagle argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 391, folio 26v

on charges within the family only:

A small cross pometty on a tower may be nothing more than a standard arrow slit, in which case it doesn't count as a tertiary charge but is treated as part of the tower's internal detailing (as would be a window or portal). (January, 2007 LoAR) Further, "artistic details are allowed to have poor contrast," (November, 2009 LoAR).

the Maltese cross 

Gules, a Maltese cross argent.

detail from a photo that has been released into the public domain

Note: The pictured cross appears above the entrance to the former church of San Pietro in Consavia, in Asti, Italy. Various portions of the compound were constructed between the 12th and 15th centuries. I'm not sure when the cross was applied, including whether it was done any time before 1600.

on charges within the family only:

"Properly drawn, a Maltese cross should have four deeply notched arms, converging to a central point (or very nearly); and each arm should take up an angle as wide as the space between the arms." (cover letter for the May, 2007 LoAR) "Maltese crosses should also have arms of equal length." (August, 2008 LoAR)

related to charges outside the family:

A Maltese cross is substantially different from a Latin cross throughout (September, 2006 LoAR).

A Maltese cross is significantly different from a cross of four lozenges (April, 1996 LoAR).

 

Period Crosses Not Part of Any Conflict-Checking Family

Crosses that don't fall into one of the families must be compared for conflict on an individual basis. This includes a large number of crosses that were used in period heraldry, as well as all other crosses used in S.C.A. heraldry.

 type of cross example emblazon  rulings and precedents
cross annulety
Volume III of William Berry's 1828 Encyclopędia Heraldica, Plate XXXVI

"Annuletted means each arm of the cross ends in an annulet." (February, 1982 LoAR)  "We have reblazoned the crosses [as 'annuletty' rather than 'annuletted'] in an effort to describe them more clearly."  (February, 2005 LoAR)

A cross annuletted is significantly different from an ordinary cross (September, 1992 LoAR).

A cross annulety is a Significant Change from an ordinary cross, a cross fleury, and a cross patonce.  (January, 2016 LoAR)


 

Note: This cross has a great deal in common with a cross couped pometty.

cross avellane

cross avellane

Volume III of William Berry's 1828 Encyclopędia Heraldica, Plate XXXIII

There is a significant difference between a cross avellane and a cross patonce, "since the cross avellane is a period charge, described in Gullim's A Display of Heraldry." (September, 2009 LoAR)


A cross avellane is distinctly changed from a cross bottony. (June, 2015 LoAR)

A cross avellane is "at least [distinctly changed]" from a tau cross and a crux ansata patty.  (June, 2015 LoAR)

A cross avellane is not significantly different from a cross of four ermine spots (August, 2008 LoAR).

 

There has been one registration of a cross avellane dismembered. The emblazon shows a cross avellane in which the cener roundel is not conjoined to the tails serving as the arms of the cross.

cross couped of three crossbars, missing the dexter base arm

a cross couped of three crossbars, missing the dexter base arm

Kazimierz Józef Turowski's 1858 edition of Bartosz Paprocki's 1584 Herby Rycerstwa Polskiego, page 380

"This cross is a period charge, found in a collection of Polish armory, Herby Rycerstwa Polskiego, 1584, [Paprockiego, 1858]." (February, 1997 LoAR)

A cross couped of three crossbars missing the dexter base arm is significantly different from a cross moline (May, 2001 LoAR).

cross crescenty

 

Or, a cross crescenty sable.

BSB Cod.icon. 392 d, folio 149r

Per pale argent and Or, a Cross couped gules and a cross crescenty azure.

Bibliothčque municipale de Toulouse, Ms. 798, page 27

"A cross crescenty has each arm ending in a crescent with its horns pointing outwards." (January, 2003 LoAR)

"While a cross crescenty is not, to the best of our knowledge, a period cross, it follows the pattern of period crosses, and is, therefore, registerable." (November, 1998 LoAR)

 

I've included crosses crescenty in the "period crosses" list because of emblazons like those at left, which look like crosses crescenty to me and are from period armorials. It has been over a decade since the sovereigns of arms commented that they had no evidence of them; I assume these images simply weren't available to them at the time.

cross doubly pommeled

Vert, a cross doubly pommeled throughout gules.

BSB Cod.icon. 270, folio165r

A cross doubly pommeled elongated palewise is not significantly different from a cross moline (February, 1997 LoAR).

A cross doubly pommeled is not significantly different from a cross bottony. (April, 2010 LoAR)

 

Note: This cross has a lot in common with a cross pomelly.

fillet cross

   

Gules, a cross argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 391, folio 12v
This term was used in the very early days of the S.C.A. to describe a skinny ordinary cross. It has since been abandoned. A fillet cross is considered to be a diminutive (June, 1990 LoAR dated July 31st), and in the S.C.A. "the diminutive names of ordinaries are used only when there is more than one of the ordinary in question (or when the ordinary is otherwise reduced in importance, as in a 'bar enhanced')," (September, 1985). Now any acceptable ordinary cross, regardless of its thickness, is just blazoned, "a cross". Care must be taken when drawing an ordinary cross to ensure it's not too skinny, however, or it will run afoul of the injunction against "thin line heraldry" issued in the April, 1982 LoAR. (December, 1987 LoAR)

cross of four ermine spots

 

There was one registration (in 1973) in which such a cross was blazoned as a "cross erminee"; it appears in the O&A as a "cross erminy".

 

cross of four ermine spots

Volume III of William Berry's 1828 Encyclopędia Heraldica, Plate XXXIII

"As a cross of ermine spots is a non-standard cross, it may be too difficult to depict it in an identifiable fashion as a tertiary charge." (July, 2013 LoAR)

"Crosses of ermine spots are drawn with the tops of the ermine spots conjoined in the center, rather than the bases of the ermine spots conjoined in the center.. . .(In many renditions of ermine spots, the three roundels, or voided billet, at the top of the spot represent a stylized clasp, as would have been used to hold an ermine tail or skin to an underlying garment or less expensive fur.)" (September, 2001 LoAR)

A cross of four ermine spots is not significantly different from a cross avellane (August, 2008 LoAR).

A cross of four ermine spots is significantly different from a cross fleury, because "Both crosses fleury and crosses of ermine spots were considered to be separate in period and were drawn so that they could be visually distinguished from each other." (December, 2002 LoAR).

A cross of four ermine spots is substantially different from a Cross Calatrava (March, 2011 LoAR)

Cross of Jerusalem

 

Gules, a Cross of Jerusalem Or.

BSB Cod.icon. 391, folio 10r

"In the SCA, a Cross of Jerusalem is a cross potent between four crosses couped." (May, 1982 LoAR) "The cross of Jerusalem may be drawn with the plain crosslets inside or outside the cross potent, but they should not touch its arms." (August, 1977 LoAR)

"The Cross of Jerusalem is a defined single charge, though it consists of discrete elements in the same way that an ermine spot does." (July, 1996 LoAR)

". . .[T]here is no problem having a cross of Jerusalem on a fieldless badge, even though portions of this defined single charge are not conjoined." (April, 2003 LoAR)

A Cross of Jerusalem cannot be fimbriated; a cross potent is too complex to fimbriate, and fimbriating all five constituent crosses would in any event be excessive (December, 1995 LoAR).

The use of a Cross of Jerusalem with a cross crosslet at its center (instead of a cross potent) is one step from period practice (May, 2003 LoAR).

key cross 

 

Argent, a key cross azure.

BSB Cod.icon. 278, folio 16r

"A key cross is a period charge found in the arms of Pisa. It is defined as a cross clechy pommety at the points." (January, 2006 LoAR)

A key cross is not simple enough to void or fimbriate (November, 1993 LoAR). However, "A cross of Toulouse, which is a period charge, is effectively a cross clechy pometty on the points and is voided by definition." (December, 2007 LoAR)

cross lozenged

 

Azure, a cross lozenged Or.

BSB Cod.icon. 280, folio 137r

Note: This cross has a lot in common with a cross clechy, and with key crosses and Crosses of Toulouse, which are variants of crosses clechy.
cross glandular

"A cross glandular has three acorns issuant from the end of each arm." (January, 2012 LoAR)


Argent, a cross glandular gules fructed proper.

Armįrio 15 da Casa da Coroa, folio 37r
"There is substantial difference between a cross glandular and a cross of Saint Julian." (July, 2012 LoAR)
Norse sun cross 

Gules, a cross between four Norse sun crosses Or.

BSB Cod.icon. 391, folio 26r 

 

Gules, on a bend argent three Norse sun crosses sable.

BSB Cod.icon. 390, folio 649

"Norse sun crosses are allowed, if not encouraged, because by their alternate blazon, a cross within and conjoined to an annulet, they fit a pattern of combined charges that we have registered for many years, and are at most one step from period practice." (March, 2001 LoAR)

"The Norse sun cross is also the symbol for Earth, and by precedent symbols cannot be registered as the sole charge." (September, 2000 LoAR) However, "If blazoned as a cross within and conjoined to an annulet instead of a Norse sun cross, this would obviously not be a single abstract charge. Therefore it is registerable even as the only charge (or charge combination) on the armory." (October, 2007 LoAR)

"As we do not grant difference for the number of spokes in a wheel, there is no DC between [a Norse sun cross and a wheel]."  (December, 2015 LoAR)

There is no Distinct Change between a Norse sun cross and an equal-armed Celtic cross.  (December, 2015 LoAR

I've included the Norse sun cross in the "period crosses" list because of the emblazons at left, which include the charge blazoned in the S.C.A. as a "Norse sun cross" and are from period armorials. I assume these emblazons simply hadn't been seen by the sovereigns at arms when they ruled that it's not a period charge.

 

Azure, a bend bretessed Or between two Norse sun crosses argent and on a chief Or an eagle sable.

BSB Cod.icon. 274, folio 134r

 

Quarterly gules, on a Norse sun cross argent in cross five torteaus, and argent, in saltire two spears gules each flying a pennant per fess argent and gules.

BSB Cod.icon. 307, page 101

cross pointed 

 

Argent, a cross pointed sable.

BSB Cod.icon. 333, folio 30r
A cross pointed is significantly different from a cross moline (August, 1990 LoAR).
cross portate 

 

Quarterly gules, a cross portate argent, and gules, a cross argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 307, page 115

Azure, a cross portate reversed between three mullets of eight points Or and on a chief azure three fleurs-de-lys Or and a label of four points gules.

BSB Cod.icon. 274, folio 240r

"Whether or not the cross portate is period, it clearly does not take well to having charges placed around it." (October, 1984 LoAR)

 

Note: This cross has a great deal in common with a straight tau cross throughout bendwise, and as the crests accompanying the quartered field presented at left are a straight tau cross and a cross couped, I think it's possible that's how it originated.

Russian Orthodox cross

 

There has also been one registration in which a cross like this was blazoned a "Greek Orthodox cross".

"At this point we are declaring that the orientation of the lowermost cross bar [on a Russian Orthodox cross] is an unblazoned detail worth no difference. In other words, it doesn't matter if it is bendwise or bendwise sinister." (May, 2007 LoAR)

A Russian Orthodox cross is substantially different from a cross of lozenges (April, 2009 LoAR).

A Russian Orthodox cross is significantly different from a cross Lorraine (December, 2004 LoAR).

four serpents entwined in cross heads addorsed in chief and base
Or, four serpents entwined in cross heads addorsed in chief and base vert.

BSB Cod.icon. 276, folio 18r
Note:  This has some similarity to a cross gringoly.

I'm not entirely sure this would've been considered a cross in period heraldry.  But since it is in its S. C. A. blazon presented as a sort of cross, I decided it was best to include it in this article.

cross swallowtailed

The term "double-fitched" was used to blazon such a cross once early in the Society's history. It was later re-blazoned a "cross swallowtailed".

 

Gules, on a cross swallowtailed Or two annulets interlaced argent.

BSB Cod.icon. 392 d, folio 166r

A cross swallowtailed is significantly different from a cross patonce, a cross fleury (March, 1993 LoAR), a cross formy (July, 1999 LoAR), and a cross moline (May, 2010 LoAR)..

"While there are period examples of the term cross double-fitched or double-fitchy, they don't match [what we call 'a cross swallowtailed']." (October, 2007 LoAR)



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You can see most of the illustrations above in their original contexts by clicking on them or on text in the notes below them. The cited manuscripts are as follows:

Bibliothčque municipale de Toulouse, Ms. 798: a 16th-century Catalan armorial now in the collection of the municipal library of Toulouse
BSB Cod.icon. 265: a Flemish chorography made in the Netherlands in 1562, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 267: a book of arms of Roman pontifs and cardinals made in Italy in the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 270: a book of arms of northern Italian cities and Milanese nobility made in Italy in the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 274: a book of Venetian, Mantuan, Bolognese, Anconian, Urbinoan, and Perugian arms made in Italy in the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon 276: a book of arms of Veronese and Vicenzan nobility made in Italy in the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 278: a book of Luccan, Sienese, Pisan, Pistoian, Volterran, Arezzan, Cortonese, and Sansepolcran arms made in Italy in the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 280: a book of arms of the French knights of the order of St. Michael made in Italy in the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod. icon. 290: a book of arms of the counts, vicounts, etc. of Cataluna, Castille, and Portugal made in Spain in the15th-16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 291: a book of English arms made in England in the middle of the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 307: a collection of arms from various (predominantly German) lands made in Germany around 1600, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 308: an armorial made by Nikolaus Bertschi in Augsburg between 1515 and 1650, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 308 u: the Ortenburg armorial, made in Bavaria between 1466 and 1473 and now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 333: a large armorial containing arms of Holy Roman Emperors, European noble houses, popes, cardinals, bishops, and abbots, up to the time of Emperor Rudolf II and Pope Gregory XIII, made in southern Germany in 1583 and now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 390: an armorial of the Holy Roman Empire made by Stephen Brechtel in Nürnberg between 1554 and 1568, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod.icon. 391: various armorials collected in a single volume in southern Germany (possibly Augsburg) around 1530, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
BSB Cod. icon. 392 d: an armorial made in southern Germany in the first half of the 16th century, now in the collection of the Bavarian State Library
Casa Real, Cartório da Nobreza, liv. 20: an armorial made in Portugal in the early 16th century by António Godinho (Folio 37r is image m0079.)