The stylistic history of the Patriarchal Cross remains under debate. While some attribute to a Lorraine Cross, it is thought that Lorraine Cross was inspired by this style but is distinctly different. A common interpretation is that the two bars on the cross are a reminder that Jesus died for two populations – the decedents of Abraham and the Gentiles. The patriarchal cross is rarely used, although historically it has been reserved for high-ranking religious figures.
Christianity has consistently remained one of the largest religions in the world. Christianity is steeped in history and rich symbology. Followers have used Christian symbols for a variety of reasons. These symbols have been used over time to express identity and beliefs. For over two thousand years, Christians have used a variety of symbols as an expression of their beliefs, their religious identity and to recognize the sacrifices made over the centuries for their religion.
Symbols were commonly used to identify other Christians, especially in times when Christianity was banned and to subtly express their own beliefs without drawing too much scrutiny to themselves. The early community had a special reliance on holy iconography as a symbolic way of representing Christian ideas and stories in the artwork that was produced during these eras.
Though the most common and widely recognized symbol is the cross, there are many other symbols that hold importance in the religion. These symbols can be found carved on ancient tombs, hidden in medieval art and a variety of other places. These symbols have their roots in pre-Christian times and were adapted and modified for use in Christianity. In early times, the symbolism of Christianity was mainly seen as learning for initiates only. Once Christianity was legalized in the 4th century, symbols become more common in their use even today.