crescent, emblematic representation of the quarter moon. The crescent and star, ancient Byzantine symbols that became the emblems of Constantinople, were also assumed as the standard of the Ottoman Turks. The crescent surmounted by a cross indicates the origin of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The crescent appears on the flags of various present-day Muslim nations. The emblem is also used in blazonry.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.