The Irminsul of Harbarnsen-Irmenseul
A modern representation of the World Pillar with a Sunwheel on top symbolising the Irminsul, in the districts of Harbarnsen-Irmenseul. It is easy to see how these symbols could have evolved into the 'celtic cross' - an addition to Irish and Scottish culture thanks to invading Norse and Viking armies.
The spelling Irmenseul is very interesting - as the symbol of the Sunwheel is where the christians got the image for the halo which identified religious figures in their early art. The word Halo stems from the root *khailaz which gives us the rune Hagalaz and is the root of the word holy.
An early christian mosaic of Jesus - his divinity symbolised by the 'sunwheel' halo.
This concept wasn't a christian one - for images of the Buddha also included a halo, as shown in this sculptor
The Halo was a means of indicating the spiritual divinity of the individual - it represented their soul - or divine light. This may be the reason why we find the spelling of the German district 'Irmenseul' - Irmins Soul. The Sunwheel is the halo which crowns the Saxon god Irmin. The Sunwheel is obviously a Solar symbol. A BBC documentary studied the symbolism of early christian art and concluded that the much of the imagery used to depict Jesus had been borrowed from the pagan sun-cults, and the halo was a sign of the Sun-god.