Lambeau Cross

'Lambeau' in heraldry simply means 'label'. It can also be used in a Christian context.

Lambeau Cross

Lambeau Cross
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Lambeau is a French word, from the Old Frankish labba, and means a 'scrap' or 'tattered rag' in English. The Lambeau Cross is a cross mounted on a bar containing three ragged pendants and this bar is known as a label or lambel.

It is a mark used in heraldry to signify the bearer is the eldest son, often a prince, and is borne whilst the father is still alive. The central pendant represents the son and the other two represent the parents. If the grandfather is still alive, that generation is represented by two more pendants, giving five instead of three.

(If the grandfather is dead but the grandmother is alive, those two pendants do not appear. Sorry Grandma; heraldry is one of those things decided by men.)

A bar with seven pendants means the great-grandfather is still alive.

When used in a Christian context, the cross on a label emphasizes Jesus as the Son of God.


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