Cross Tattoo Designs

Celtic Cross Tattoo
Celtic Cross Tattoo

Choosing a Cross Tattoo Design

Although widely recognized and used as a religious symbol, the cross has been used even before the birth of Christianity. Now a popular choice as a tattoo design, the cross has been reinvented over and over again and has been integrated into various cultures. It is perhaps one of the most colorful and most versatile spiritual symbols today.So before you stride inside a tattoo parlor to get your cross tattoo, read on to learn more about the many different cross tattoo designs and find out which one works best for you.

Crusader's Cross
Crusader's Cross
Rose on St. Andrew's Cross
Rose on St. Andrew's Cross
Anchor's Cross
Anchor's Cross
Maltese Cross
Maltese Cross
Celtic Cross
Celtic Cross

Christian Cross Tattoo Designs

  1. The Latin Cross. It is composed of a long vertical line and a smaller horizontal line intersecting it about 1/3 of the way down.

  2. The Cross of Triumph. It is just like the Latin Cross. Just add a large circle to the bottom with the outline of an upside-down T inside. This type of cross stands for the universal triumph of the Holy Gospel across the globe.

  3. The 3-Step Cross. Add three steps at the bottom of the Latin Cross and you have the 3-Step Cross, or otherwise known as the Graded Cross. The three steps represent the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.

  4. The Crucifix. The Crucifix takes that traditional Latin cross and proclaims the image of Christ’s crucifixion and death. Most commonly, the cross of the crucifix is wooden. This is a popular symbol in the Catholic faith.

  5. The Russian Orthodox Cross. The Russian Orthodox Church is similar to the Latin cross, but it simply has added 2 more lines. One is a smaller horizontal line above the original horizontal, plus an additional line running diagonally placed below the original horizontal line.

  6. The Tau Cross. The Tau Cross was as popular in ancient times as the Latin Cross today because it founded the first recognized cross figure. But, instead of making a cross, the Tau is made with a capital “T”. It’s name, Tau, is the Greek word for the letter t.

  7. The Crusader’s Cross. To visualize the Crusader’s Cross, imagine four capital T’s. Then, place those four T’s together, each facing one of the four directions (N, S, E or W), with the base of each T meeting in the middle. Worn by many Crusader knights, this cross was actually composed of a total of five different crosses, each one signifying one of the wounds Christ suffering during the crucifixion.

  8. The Maltese Cross. The Maltese cross is created by combining four special triangles (which are more like a double lined forked V) joined at their apexes. Also known as an 8-pointed star, this design also dates back to the time of the Crusades. It was worn by the order of the Hospitallers, who later moved their headquarters to Malta.

  9. The Celtic Cross. Also known as the Cross of Iona, this design was popular among early Christians in Brittania, and spread to the rest of Europe widely in the 6th century A.D. It is incredibly popular as a Celtic tattoo design.

  10. The Anchor Cross. This cross design came from Egypt and was popular among seafarers. It was, however, taken by early Christians as a sign of their own and used it often enough that it is common to the Catacombs.

  11. St. Andrew’s Cross. The Cross of Saint Andrew is shaped like an “X” with arms of equal length intersecting at their centers. St. Andrew, like the Apostle Peter, didn’t deem himself worthy to be buried on a cross identical to Christ’s.

  12. The Resurrection Cross. This cross is based on the structure of the Latin cross. However, it is of wooden construction, and has a purple robe draped over the horizontal arm, a crown of thorns perched across the top, and a wooden rectangle bearing the inscription “I.N.R.I” (which translates loosely to “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, King of the Jews”).

Greek Cross Tattoo
Greek Cross Tattoo
Ankh Cross Tattoo
Ankh Cross Tattoo
Tau Cross Tattoo
Tau Cross Tattoo
Aztec Cross
Aztec Cross

Non-Christian Tattoo Designs

  1. The Greek Cross. This cross tattoo design precedes Christianity and was used by Assyrians to represent the heavens. It has been associated with sun-worship throughout history and is also known as the equilateral cross.

  2. The Native- and Mesoamerican Cross. This cross design represents the four winds and the tree of life among tribes in North and South America.

  3. The Chinese Cross. In China, the cross symbol has been linked with the ideogram "earth." In fact, a Chinese saying states that God fashioned the earth in the form of a cross.

  4. The Ankh (or “The Handled Cross”) In ancient Egypt, the Ankh is deemed as the key of life.In Egyptian tomb paintings, the gods used the ankh to awaken the souls of the dead to a new life.

  5. The Gammate Cross. Also known as the swastika, this symbol is hardly restricted to its history in WWII and the Nazi party. Along with the equilateral cross, this symbol can be traced back to very distant times. It appears in nearly every single culture and religion throughout history, from the Gauls to the Hindus of India.

  6. Gothic Crosses. Available in many different variations, the Gothic cross is usually dark Germanic in style.

  7. The Aztec Cross. It is close in appearance with a four-petal flower. It is also shown as a cross with a square center with four trapezoids facing in the four directions.

Comments 4 comments

Dug 7 years ago

Hello!

Great resource you have here!

The only reason why i wouldn't get a cross tattoo is because I feel that it has so many religious connotations. They look pretty cool though!

If you wish feel free to visit my site about cool tattoo designs

http://www.unique-cool-tattoo-designs.com

Dug


amie50 profile image

amie50 7 years ago

Wow, this is the only post I have encountered that has very detailed and specific approach on the subject of cross tattoos...You were able to identify and describe each cross...this is a very great resource for those looking for cross tattoos - which is actually very popular...good job!


reagu profile image

reagu 4 years ago from Los Angeles

I think that those Celtic crosses would look good on my shoulder.


max 2 years ago

Your "anchor cross" is an embellished cross with a superimposed EGA (Eagle, globe and anchor), the insignia of the US Marine Corps. That tattoo belongs to a Marine.

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