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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Visitors to this site might wonder why the crosses are upside down in the Diocese of Little Rock coat of arms. The small inverted crosses are a reference to St. Peter, the "petra" or rock, upon whom the Church was founded by Jesus Christ.
According to tradition, before he was martyred, St. Peter said he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. The Romans, therefore, crucified Peter upside down with his head pointed downward.
The coat of arms also includes a cross in the form of an X that represents St. Andrew, who was crucified on a X-shaped cross. St. Andrew is the patron of the diocesan cathedral and the baptismal patron of Bishop Andrew Byrne, the first bishop of Little Rock (1844-1862).
The entire coat of arms has meaning to this diocese and its founding in 1843. It is composed of a shield topped with a gold miter. The miter is the ecclesiastical hat symbolic of the office of bishop.
The shield uses the Marian colors, white and blue. They honor Mary as the patroness of the United States under her title of the Immaculate Conception. The star of six points was taken from the coat of arms of Pope Gregory XVI, who established this diocese on Nov. 28, 1843.