Latin cross

A Latin cross or crux immissa is a type of cross in which the vertical beam sticks above the crossbeam,[1] with the three upper arms either equally long or with the vertical topmost arm shorter than the two horizontal arms, and always with a much longer bottom arm.[2]

If displayed upside down it is called St. Peter's Cross, because he was reputedly executed on this type of cross.[3] When displayed sideways it is called St. Philip's cross for the same reason.[3]

In the USA, the Latin cross began as a Roman Catholic emblem, being vehemently contested as Satanic by various Protestant denominations in the 19th century, but has since become a universal symbol of Christianity and is now the main representation of the cross for Protestants, too.[4]

A Latin cross plan is a floor plan found in many churches and cathedrals.[5] When looked at from above or in plan view it takes the shape of a Latin cross (crux immissa).[6] Such cruciform churches were very common in the West during the Romanesque period.[2] The Latin cross plans have a nave with aisles or chapels, or both, and a transept that forms the arms of the cross.[6] It also has at least one apse that traditionally faces east. Many also have a narthex at the entry.[6]

The glyph has a unicode code point: U+271D LATIN CROSS (HTML ✝)