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The earlier Christian symbol was a Latin Cross with a circle around it and was used on the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.

Be sure to check out some frequently asked questions about the cemetery as well as our guide to visiting ANC.

RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS The simple white marble headstones often have a religious symbol on the top.

The Department of Army that runs Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), in keeping with Department of Veteran Affairs protocols, only allows certain graphics on government issues headstones.

As you walk through the cemetery on one of our self guided tours or with our guided walking tour, you can use the guide below to understanding the basics of the symbols on government issued and personal markers.

Here you will also find many of graves of soldiers in the United States Colored Troops. Within the shield is the arched name of the deceased and his abbreviated military organization. Due to restrictions of space, no religious symbol is listed.

Confederate soldiers from the Civil War also have distinct markers.

The design is an inverted star with Minerva in the center, surrounded by laurel and oak leaf clusters, and stars to represent the States.

Through the years, only slight changes have been made.

I find it most interesting that all three of you have Biblical names. However, I am not sure why David is so convinced that this is misleading; this is exactly what I have been learning in my history course at university.

I am actually using this as a source for one of my papers!

To keep with the aesthetic of overwhelming rows upon rows of white headstones, these replacement headstones are similar in appearance to the military headstones apart from the inscriptions. Pre World War I era headstones are inscribed differently.