This symbol, which can take several different forms, is a variation of the Christian cross.
While the anchor cross functioned as a symbol of hope, there was also a deeper meaning to its use. During the early centuries of Christianity, persecution by the Romans was a genuine fear, thus the faithful avoided using the cross on which Jesus had been crucified as their symbol. Instead, various forms of the anchor cross materialized as substitutes. For this reason, the anchor cross also became known as the crux dissimulata (meaning "dissimilar"), implying the hidden meaning of the symbol.