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These two events stimulated interest in the Celtic cross as a symbol for a renewed sense of heritage within Ireland.New versions of the high cross were designed for fashionable cemetery monuments in Victorian Dublin in the 1860s.The Celtic cross is a form of Christian cross featuring a nimbus or ring that emerged in Ireland and Britain in the Early Middle Ages.A type of ringed cross, it became widespread through its use in the stone high crosses erected across the islands, especially in regions evangelized by Irish missionaries, from the 9th through the 12th centuries.Ringed crosses similar to older Continental forms appeared in Ireland and Scotland in incised stone slab artwork and artifacts like the Ardagh chalice.

A square cross interlocking with or surrounded by a circle is one of the most popular symbols used by individuals and organisations to represent white nationalism, white supremacy, Neo-Nazism, and white pride; it is used as the logo for white nationalist website Other stone crosses are found in the former Northumbria and Scotland, and further south in England, where they merge with the similar Anglo-Saxon cross making tradition, in the Ruthwell Cross for example. 1200 the initial wave of cross building came to an end in Ireland.Most examples in Britain were destroyed during the Protestant Reformation. Popular legend in Ireland says that the Christian cross was introduced by Saint Patrick or possibly Saint Declan, though there are no examples from this early period.The "cosmological cross" is an important motif in Coelius Sedulius's poem Carmen Paschale, known in Ireland by the 7th century.It is not clear where the first high crosses originated. Johns Cross at Iona was the first high cross; Iona's influence as a center of pilgrimage may have led this cross to inspire the Ahenny group as well as other ringed crosses in Pictish stones.

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