Why is the Maltese Cross on some of your designs?
Some people have remarked that the "Maltese Cross"
has no place on Christian apparel as it is sinister in its origins and point
out that is is often displayed by neo-Nazi groups, white supremacists, and
other groups of people wanting to add a shock value to their apparel (since
it conjures up the image of Nazi Germany) without being specifically Nazi.
What is the Maltese
Before we can talk about why the cross in on our
apparel we must first talk about what it is and what it isn't. The
Cross that most people call the Maltese Cross is actually the Cross Pattée
(also known as the Cross Pattee or the Cross Patty or the Cross Formy).
The true Maltese Cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol that was used to
identify a Christian warrior. The true Maltese Cross is identified by
its eight-pointes and has the shape of four "V" shaped arms joined together
at their bases, so that each arm has two points. The Cross Pattée
on the other hand is simply an equal length cross that has arms which are
narrow at the center, and broader at the perimeter. The name comes from the
fact that the shape of each arm of the cross was thought to resemble a paw
(French pattée); Fear God apparel uses a
variation on the Cross Pattée.
Variations on the Cross Pattée
The Cross Pattée
gets the majority of its bad press from being associated with Hitler and
Nazi Germany. Hitler used a black Cross Pattée
in conjunction with the swastika (which was called the Iron Cross) as a
symbol of bravery; as his evil plans unfolded, the cross became
associated with sinister intentions. Sadly today, neo-Nazis and other
groups use the black iron cross (with and without the swastika) as a symbol
of hate; but it wasn't always that way. Early Christians successfully
used the Cross Pattée as a Christian
symbol and even today groups like firefighters use a variation of the Cross
Pattée as their symbol of hope and
so why do you use it on Fear
Because it so perfectly fits with what are trying
to do and the statement we are trying to make! In its simplest form,
one can look at a hat or shirt with the Cross Pattée
on it and assume that the point is for neo-Nazis and white supremacists
(since they are most closely associated with the use of the cross) to Fear
God; a great statement if that was all there was.
On a deeper level though, we are saying much more.
We want to take back what belongs to us as Christians. I find it
interesting that the Devil chooses to take Christian symbols and twist them
for his use (in essence stealing them from us). The Iron Cross is just
one example of such twisting; how about the rainbow? Originally, the
rainbow was given as a sign of God's promise to us that He would never again
destroy the earth by water. Today however, the rainbow is more
commonly associated with Gay and Lesbian groups; it is often used in their
displays and on their apparel.
isn't there a better way?
Remember that Fear God apparel are not designed to
let the world know you are a Christian; they are designed so you have an
opportunity to share the Gospel. We want to use symbols or sayings that
are easily recognizable by unbelievers. Far too often we as Christians
require the unbeliever to come into our world instead of meeting them in
theirs! Jesus frequently ate with sinners at their houses! He brought the
Kingdom of Heaven to them! (And the only people upset about it were the
I still don't like that cross on
That's O.K.! Not all of our products are for
everyone. Just keep in mind that the Cross Pattée
is nothing more than a symbol (and one that belongs to us as Christians).
We purposely chose to print the cross in red to more closely associate it
with its Christian roots but if you can't wear it in faith, get something
with a more traditional cross on it!