Life is often represented in religious art as a flame—a source of illumination & warmth. An eternal flame takes this notion one step further. But sooner or later all flames burn out. Turning a torch upside down will extinguish the flame due to lack of oxygen & is a poignant way of representing death.
Inverted torches are one of the most common symbols in cemeteries worldwide. Whether in pairs, crossed or standing alone, they remind us that someone’s flame has gone out.