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Hate on Display Hate Symbols Database

Celtic Cross

Also known as: Odin’s Cross, Sun Cross, Wheel Cross

The white supremacist version of the Celtic Cross, which consists of a square cross interlocking with or surrounded by a circle, is one of the most important and commonly used white supremacist symbols. Although usually called a Celtic Cross by white supremacists, its origins date to the pre-Christian "sun cross" or "wheel cross" in ancient Europe. Norwegian Nazis used a version of the symbol in the 1930s and 1940s. After World War II, a variety of white supremacist groups and movements adopted the symbol. Today, this verson of the Celtic Cross is used by neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, Ku Klux Klan members and virtually every other type of white supremacist. It has also achieved notoriety as part of the logo of Stormfront, the oldest and largest white supremacist website in the world.

The Celtic Cross, as typically depicted, is a traditional Christian symbol used for religious purposes as well as to symbolize concepts like Irish pride. As such, it is a very common symbol and primarily used by non-extremists. Most renditions of the traditional Celtic Cross feature an elongated vertical axis (often accompanied by Celtic knotwork) that resembles that of other Christian crosses. Although white supremacists will occasionally use this version of the Celtic Cross, the overwhelming use of this version of the Celtic Cross is non-extremist and, in the absence of other hate symbols, does not denote white supremacy or racism.

It is the short "sun cross" version of the Celtic Cross, surrounded by a circle, that is more commonly used by white supremacists, although even here care must be taken always to judge it in context.

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