Although the X-shaped emblem of St Andrew is always called a cross, it is termed a 'saltire' in heraldry, and is not a kind of heraldic cross. So it does not partake of all the ornate variations that the cross has, but is much more like a simple figure such as a chevron or a bend. It is naturally very common in Scottish arms.

A field divided into four parts by an X-shaped line is described as 'per saltire' or 'party per saltire'.

A saltire where each diagonal consists of two narrow bands interwoven with the other diagonal is termed a 'saltire parted and fretty'.

Sal"tire (?), n. [F. sautoir, fr. LL. saltatorium a sort of stirrup, fr. L. saltatorius saltatory. See Saltatory, Sally, v.] Her.

A St. Andrew's cross, or cross in the form of an X, -- one of the honorable ordinaries.

 

© Webster 1913.

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