Friday, June 24, 2011


One of my favorite things in the world is heraldry. I love how it tries to communicate ideas through simple graphic cues and how variations in those cues can be a wealth of information. Thus, when I started thinking about the various monastic orders I posted the other day, I also began thinking about what crosses these orders would use and why. Here is a rough draft:

The flowery Green Cross in comparison to the simple and austere White Cross implies a counter-intuitive logic of prayer vs. work. One might think that Green Monks would prefer something like the White Cross, being that they are such an austere order; however, prayer is an elaborate and beautiful endeavor. Thus, they wear an elaborate and beautiful cross. The Black Cross, with the four squares surrounding it visually suggest their quest for balance between prayer and work.

The Canon's Crosses add a visual variation suggestive of a chalice — a symbol of the priestly function of preparing and distributing communion. Likewise, the Sword's Crosses have a variation suggestive of a blade — both in concert with their name and their occupation as soldiers.


uwarr said...

Not sure if it has any special meaning but I've always been partial to the Cross Moline since seeing it in Joe Dever's Lone Wolf gamebooks, this expression:

And if you liked The Beast of Averoigne give the short story that inspired the cover of Castle Amber a try, The Colossus of Ylourgne. As my girlfriend at the time put it, "You should be slapped for reading this."

Alex Osias said...

I love it! It looks cool! Where did you get them?

Theodric the Obscure said...

More good stuff, FrDave.

FrDave said...


These are mostly my creation. I based the Green Cross on the fluer-de-lis, the Black Cross on St. Benedict's Cross and the White Cross on a Crusader Cross.

David The Archmage said...

I really like this! Well done! Not just the designs, but also the reasons behind the designs.