It has often been claimed that Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross.
By linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun, these two ideas were linked to appeal to pagans.
Several neo-Nazi groups use the solar cross to represent white supremacy.
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The Norwegian party Nasjonal Samling used a golden sun cross on a red background as an official symbol from 1933 to 1945.
The cross with the circle was attached to Olaf II of Norway, patron saint of Norway, and the colors were the Coat of arms of Norway.
Other interpretations claim that placing the cross on top of the circle represents Christ's supremacy over the pagan sun.
The original Coptic cross often includes a circle that is derived from the ankh, as the circles represent the sun god, Ra. Wheel pendants dating to the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, found in Zürich, are held at the Swiss National Museum.
The cross-in-a-circle was interpreted as a solar symbol derived from the interpretation of the disc of the Sun as the wheel of the chariot of the Sun god.