The Cross of Lorraine is a Christian religious symbol strongly associated with France and her sovereignty. Originally it was a two crosses one inverted and superimposed over the other as like the example to the left above. During the early twentieth century the bottom arm was raised, and the cross began to resemble the middle example. By the end of World War II however the top arm was shortened and it began to resemble the patriarchal cross.
This cross was said to be the personal symbol of Joan of Arc, later it was adopted to be the heraldic symbol for Lorraine, the region of eastern France where she was born. When most of Lorraine was captured by Germany during World War II, the French Freedom fighters, Forces Françaises Libres or FFL, adopted the Cross of Lorraine as a symbol of their movement and a free France. Even after France surrendered to the Nazis these brave men and women continued to fight and eventually helped free France from the Nazis.