See, there’s this thing called a Celtic Cross; you all know of it, here’s a pop-culture reference to one, Unrated Special Edition. I’m your tour guide for the evening, and I’m here to let you in on a few secrets about it. We’ll start the journey off with the history of this super-cool religious symbol, followed by the Celtic Revival of the 19th Century.
As legend goes, St. Patrick–yes, that 6:00 AM St. Patrick–fused the Chi-Rho cross attributed with Christianity to the pagan symbol of the sun to help convert Druids. Now, Christians and Catholics would argue to the grave to the truth of this theory. There are indisputable examples of Christian use for these Celtic crosses, but there are otherswhich are more dodgy that predate. This is but one example of a truly Christian one.
Others will claim, especially in Irish and Scottish pubs, with a very pointy approach, that it is a Pagan symbol, standing for a phallus. These same people will claim that “as the names of the months, or of the days of the week are pagan,” so we can only listen to them for so long(Henry O’Neill). Personally, I would like to think that the symbol predates Christianity, if only to knock some Christians off their high horse.
In the 1840’s, it once again became cool and popular to wear and talk about Celtic Crosses, mainly attributed to a dude named Henry O’Neill. Starting in the 1890’s, they became markers for graves, and nowadays you’ll be hard-pressed to find one more than 100 years old, a relatively short history. Furthermore, the American Presbyterians use the Celtic Cross as a logo, a throwback to their ties to the Church of Scotland.
If you have questions, just ask and I’ll answer.
(Henry O’Neill. 1857 Illustrations of the Most Interesting of the Sculptured Crosses of Ancient Ireland)