Who uses this cross?

(Puzzle 009)

Here's a symbol, which had us considering it's intended design for quite a while.

mystery cross

At first sight, this cross looks nothing more mysterious than a voided cross with a halo or Celtic circle, but nevertheless, there is something rather odd about this image.

The cross might be a voided cross, i.e. just the outline of a cross, or it might be a solid white cross. Since the background of the symbol is white, it is impossible to say which.

Similarly with the circle. It might be a ring (i.e. outline of a circle), or it might be a solid white disc. Again, we need a background colour to tell which.

So what are we to make about the construction of this symbol? With a grey background, would we see:

1mystery crossA voided cross and a ring?
2mystery crossA solid white cross with a ring in front?
3mystery crossA voided cross with a solid white disc behind?

mystery cross

mystery cross

What it cannot be, is a solid white cross and a solid white disc. Otherwise, the cross would hide part of the disc, or vice versa.

The image was spotted in the obituary column of a Swedish newspaper, which led us to speculate the design may be the symbol of a church or society. (If you know which organisation uses this symbol, please email us and if possible, please also tell us the website of that organisation.)

But we've come to the general conclusion that the drawing in the newspaper was not intended to show what was solid or what was just an outline. What the symbol does tell us, whether intentionally or not, is that we can spend so much time pondering things that don't matter too much, and not enough time on considering the real meaning of the Cross.

Even so, it's fun to have these diversions from time to time, especially if they help us to understand our faith more deeply. Read more about the Voided Cross, the Celtic Cross and the Sun Cross.

Puzzling symbols index


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