25 Common Symbols And Their Meanings

Have you ever realized how many symbols you encounter every day? The purpose of any symbol is to convey meaning while saving space.

Some symbols that used to be commonplace have lost their original meaning, but other signs have taken on new meaning with a new generation.

But do we really know the true meanings of all of those symbols we use? Well, that’s what you will find out in today’s post.

From the swastika and crescent to the rod of Asclepius and the Maltese cross, here are 25 Common Symbols And Their Meanings.

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Exit Sign

Exit SignSource: slate.com

Another easily recognized international symbol, the exit sign denotes the location of the closest emergency exit in case of fire or another emergency.

Also known as the running man, the symbol was developed in the late 1970’s by a Japanese designer named Yukio Ota and adopted for international use in 1985.

The green color represents safety, and similarly to traffic lights, it says “go.”


Registered Trademark

Registered Trademark Source: ipo.gov.uk via Wikipedia

The registered trademark symbol provides notice that the preceding word or symbol is a trademark or service mark that has been registered with a national trademark office.

A trademark is a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product.


Hammer and Sickle

Hammer and SickleSource: rbth.com

The hammer and sickle were one of the most recognized symbols of Soviet power.

The hammer and sickle stand for worker-peasant alliance: the hammer is a traditional symbol of the proletariat (upper-class) and the sickle is a traditional symbol for the peasantry (lower class).

However, in European religious symbology, the hammer is also associated with aggressive male force, while the sickle represents death.


Rod of Asclepius

Rod of Asclepius Source: livescience.com

The Rod of Asclepius is a symbol associated with medicine and health care.

The son of the god Apollo and the human princess Coronis, Asclepius was the Greek demigod of medicine. According to mythology, he was able to restore the health of the sick and bring the dead back to life.

Asclepius’ rod is wrapped around by a snake because the old Greeks regarded snakes as sacred and used them in healing rituals.


Maltese Cross

Maltese CrossSource: maltauncovered.com

The Maltese cross is a symbol that is most commonly associated with the Knights of Malta who ruled the Maltese islands between 1530 and 1798.

Its eight points denote the eight obligations or aspirations of the knights, namely “to live in truth, have faith, repent one’s sins, give proof of humility, love justice, be merciful, be sincere and whole¬hearted, and to endure persecution.”

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Photos: 25. Jesse Nandra via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 24. wikimedia commons (public domain), 23. publicdomainpictures.net (public domain), 22-20. wikimedia commons (public domain), 19. pixabay (public domain), 18. F l a n k e r, Pink Venus symbol, CC BY 3.0, 17. wikimedia commons (public domain), 16. WarX, edited by Manuel Strehl, Flag of Edward England, CC BY-SA 3.0, 15-14. wikimedia commons (public domain), 13. pixabay (public domain), 12. Jorge Láscar from Australia, A Hindu Swastika at Goa Lawah Temple Bali Indonesia, CC BY 2.0, 11-10. pixabay (public domain), 9. wikimedia commons (public domain), 8. vincentq from Melbourne, Australia, Macbook Pro Power Button – Macro (5477920228), CC BY-SA 2.0, 7. MesserWoland, Pink ribbon, CC BY-SA 3.0, 6. wikimedia commons (public domain), 5. 21jcw, Running Man Exit Sign Canada, CC BY-SA 4.0, 4-3. wikimedia commons (public domain), 2. pixabay (public domain), 1. wikimedia commons (public domain)

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