Bolnisi cross

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Bolnisi cross
Bolnisi inscriptions are second oldest extant samples of the Georgian script. The "Bolnisi cross" appears in the center of the inscriptions.

The Bolnisi cross (Georgian: ბოლნური ჯვარი bolnuri ǰvari) is a cross symbol, taken from a 5th-century ornament at the Bolnisi Sioni church, which came to be used as a national symbol of Georgia.

It is a variant of the cross pattée popular in Christian symbolism of late antiquity and the early medieval period. The same symbol gave rise to cross variants used during the Crusades, the Maltese cross of the Knights Hospitaller and (via the Jerusalem cross and the Black cross of the Teutonic Order) the Iron cross used by the German military.

The four small crosses used in the Georgian flag are officially described as bolnur-kacʼxuri (bolnur-katskhuri, ბოლნურ-კაცხური)[clarification needed] even though they are only slightly pattée.

See also[edit]


  • Helen Machavariani: Bolnisi sionis samsheneblo carcera. Mecniereba, Tbilisi 1985