This cross can be viewed either as just the outline (a Voided Cross), or as a solid (White Cross).
In heraldry, shiny silvery-white is known as Argent and represents purity.
On this website we are using the same image for both the Voided Cross and the White Cross, although the former usually has a heavier border. Whether a cross is termed 'voided' or 'white' depends less on the thickness of the lines, and more on the function or interpretation of the cross; as explained below.
The White Cross
There are innumerable societies and groups that use the name White Cross, including several altruistic organisations, such as:
- The White Cross Mission in England, which focuses on orphaned children in Romania
- The White Cross in America, founded as a mission society by some U.S. Baptist ladies in 1919. They modelled their society on the Red Cross, sending aid to people in trouble and generally supporting missionaries and their work in the USA and overseas.
- The St John Ambulance, who use a white Amalfi Cross.
Artistically, the style suits several emblems. Examples include the logos of the Christian Missionary and Alliance (CMA), Eglise évangélique du Cameroun (EEC: Evangelical Church of Cameroon), Fiangonan'i Jesoa Kristy Eto Madagasikara (FJKM: Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar), and Garo Baptist Convention (GBC).
Another use of the name White Cross was for a rather nasty chemical bomb deployed in the First World War. This ordnance was designed to disable the enemy by irritating eyes and other moist tissue.
The bombs were identified by a white cross painted on the artillery shell casing, which was easier than printing the contents: bromoacetone, bromobenzyl cyanide, bromomethyl ethyl ketone, chloroacetone, ethyl bromoacetate, and xylyl bromide.
Other gases were used and their shells painted with different distinguishing colours. (See Yellow Cross, Blue Cross and Green Cross.) Victims of the gassing prompted the formation of specialist medical corps and research organisations which continue today. (See Lorraine Cross and the American Lung Association.)