Biker Cross

The Biker Cross is a derivative of the Iron Cross (a Prussian, and later German, military decoration). Bikers started to display the Iron Cross in the mid 1960’s with the advent of outlaw biker gangs. Originally bikers displayed the Iron Cross as a symbol of rebellion to society in general.

Today it is also worn to signify honor, valor, strength and ‘standing up for what you believe.’ Hot rodders (American car customizers) and others also use it as a provocative gesture to offend the public, or as a symbol of rebellion or non-conformity.

In the 1960s, the Iron Cross was adopted by American surfers, who started wearing medals plundered from their fathers. Volkswagen enthusiasts, particularly Volksrodders, often use the Iron Cross as a symbol that reflects the car’s country of origin. Kustom Kulture painter Ed Roth created accessories for surfers, hot rodders and bikers derived from German World War II trophies.

Modern biker crosses can vary in shape and internal designs since often they are personalized to reflect personal beliefs, life styles and/or organizations. For example a biker that rides British motorcycles may display a cross with a Union Jack overlay known as a British Biker Cross. A biker that is also a Christian and is proud to display his or her Christian beliefs may choose to display a Christian Biker Cross that is a combination of the Maltese Cross and Iron Cross that has the lower tang stretched out to represent a Crucifix. A patriotic American Biker may choose to display a cross with the American Flag stars and stripes on it such as the American Old Glory Cross.

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