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Cross of Lorraine

The Cross of Lorraine is a heraldic cross. The cross consists of a vertical line, crossed by two smaller horizontal bars. The lower bar is longer than the upper; the lower bar is as close to the bottom of the vertical as the upper bar is to the top.

This device must not be confused with the patriarchal cross, which resembles a Latin cross with a smaller crossbar placed above the main one, so that both crossbars are near the top. Sometimes the patriarchal cross has a short, slanted crosspiece near its foot.

The Cross Lorraine figures on the arms of Lorraine in France, and as such has become a symbol associated with French patriotism, particularly with regard to conflict with Germany.

This cross was widely used during World War II by the Free French Forces (Forces Franšaises Libres, or FFL) under Charles de Gaulle. The Free French flag was a red Cross of Lorraine added to the white central stripe of the French tricolor.

A similar cross is used as an emblem by the American Lung Association and as such is familiar from their Christmas seals program. One explanation of this use of the symbol is that it was adopted during World War I on account of the victims of poison gas warfare in eastern France.

The Cross of Lorraine symbol figures in Unicode, at ੄: ੄.