Serbian cross

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The Serbian Cross () is a national symbol of Serbia and traces its roots to the Byzantine Empire. It is composed of a Cross and four letter C-shapes on each of its corners.



The motif of a cross between four objects is derived from Constantine's labarum and has figured on Byzantine coins, since the 6th c. Later, the 4 symbols of the cross have been interpreted as flints or firestones, but also as the initials (letters β) of the imperial motto of the Palaiologos dynasty: King of Kings, Ruling Over Kings (Greek: βασιλεύς βασιλέων, βασιλεύων βασιλευόντων - Basileus Basileōn, Basileuōn Basileuontōn).

Early uses

In the Fojnica Armorial, dated by the author to 1340 (Alexander Soloviev dates it to 1675-1688), the coat of arms of Serbia (Svrbiae) has the a white cross over a red background, with four firesteels. The Coat of Arms of the Mrnjavcevic noble house also has the same design, with inverted colours and the Serbian eagle in the center. In the Ohmućević Armorial the designs are preserved (1584-1594).

The cross has been used continuely by Serbian states and the Serbian Orthodox Church since the Middle Ages after Dušan the Mighty was crowned Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks (16 April 1345). Today it is the national, religious and ethnic symbol of Serbs and Serbia.


The modern interpretation is that the four symbols around the cross are Cyrillic letters С, an acronym of a slogan:...
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