Cross tattoo designs are representations of a symbol that is far more ancient and varied than you might think.
In some pre-Christian cultures, the vertical bar was seen as the male phallus, the horizontal bar as the vagina. The Celtic cross (aka Irish cross) is a particularly beautiful representation of this universal symbol and Celtic cross tattoos are a popular type of Celtic tattoo. The Celtic cross looks like a basic cross with a circle (symbol for the sun) around the intersection and is adorned with Celtic knot work art .
The Christian faith uses the cross as a symbol for the fact that Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans, a common Roman way of executing slaves and non-Romans. One of the first things that come to mind when thinking about Christian cross tattoos is: Is it OK for a Christian to get a tattoo?
A cross hanging at the end of a rosary, combined with praying hands is a popular Christian tattoo design as well.

Others show the crown of thorns either hung over one arm or the cross or suspended in the middle of it. Holy cross tattoos are very apt at expressing the Christian faith, and have come to be associated with Christianity throughout the world.
The Stars and Stripes: the American flag as a background for a cross is a popular patriotic tattoo design.
Robbie Williams: has a Celtic cross on his right hip and another cross tattoo on his right arm with the name Jack Farrell (his grandfather) underneath.
Dave Gahan: the singer of the band Depeche Mode, has got a Celtic cross on his left upper arm and another cross on his under arm. Holly Marie Combs: has a cross on her back and an iron cross surrounded by tribal patterns on her wrist. The effect of these tribal cross tattoos is stunning, either in plain black, blue or a bold Celtic green.

The vertical line represents the divine, the horizontal line represents the world, the intersection is the union of both. Some people get a cross to express their religious feelings, while other people may just like the design or give a personal symbolic meaning to their tattoo. Women also have them, but the design is usually smaller and more feminine (on the foot, ankle, hand, lower back).

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