10 Famous Symbols And Their Real Meanings

October 10, 2017

10 Famous Symbols And Their Real Meanings

Symbols are the imaginative signposts of life.

Margot Asquith

You’ve seen them a million times, but you never knew their true meaning until now.

The entire point of using a symbol is that it conveys meaning and saves space, but what is fascinating is that sometimes the real meaning of a symbol would get lost to history.

Here is a list of 10 famous symbols and their real meanings:

1 - The Heart Symbol

heart famous symbols

We know this symbol for love and romance, while there are speculations that this might stand for some of our private parts, both male and female if it is seen upside down. Some also believe that it stands for ivy leaves, which is associated with fidelity. Another theory is associated with Silphium, a North African medicinal plant, stamped on the coins of Greek colony of Cyrene. The seedpod on the coins was identical to the heart symbol today. The third and final theory comes from the Middle Ages, where Aristotle’s writings described heart Guido da Vigevano drew images of it in this manner.

2 - The Yin Yang

yin yang famous symbols

Simplest meaning of this symbolism of Yin Yang is it represents the two sides of a coin, and Yin can change to Yang, while Yang can change to Yin. Yin is the feminine side, shown with things like black, darkness, north, water, transformation, etc, while Yang stands for light, fire, mountains, warmth, the sun, etc. It is the key element in the Taoist religion in China.

3 - Bluetooth

bluetooth famous symbols

This technology was invented back in 1994 by the Swedish telecom company Ericsson, in accordance with Sweden’s Viking past, with two runes H and B pushed together, which are the initials of Denmark’s first Viking King, Harald Blåtand, where Blatand means Bluetooth in english.

4 - International Flag Of Planet Earth

earth famous symbols

The symbol, much older than the flag, is known as The Seed of Life, stands for the planet Earth as a whole. It was designed to be used when we ultimately travel to Mars and colonize the Red Planet, no matter which country funds the space mission of the astronauts. It is an ancient symbol, having importance in many cultures across the world.

5 - The Great Seal Of The United States


famous symbols

First appeared in 1782, is has sparked countless conspiracy theories over the years. The front, is made out of the bald eagle; the country’s national bird and in its beak there’s a scroll inscribed in Latin with the words one from many, representing one nation created from 13 colonies. The reverse side has many conspiracy theories.

6 - Political Animals


animals famous symbols

The Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey appeared during 19th century, where the donkey was first with Andrew Jackson and Democratic Party, while Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in 1861 and in 1880, the elephant was used to depict the Republican Party.

 7 - The Hammer And Sickle

famous symbols


The Soviet Hammer and Sickle represented unity and a symbol for the Soviet state. But, what is still intriguing is the designer Yevgeny Kamzolkin's thought behind coming up with this as he wasn’t even a communist at heart and was a deeply religious man.

8 - The Jesus Fish

fish famous symbols

The Jesus Fish or Ichthys, as it is sometimes called, is primarily associated with the Christian faith. But, it had a completely different meaning in the past. The glyph was associated with the goddess Venus and stood for fertility since it kinda resembles a lady’s private parts while some also interpret it as mandorla that represents the 'doorway' between the heavens and the material world.

 9 - The Pentagram

pentagram famous symbols

It is associated with witchcraft and satanism today. But, the five pointed star was found scratched on a cave wall in Babylonia. In ancient Greece it was believed to hold magical properties, its four elements are earth, water, air, and fire, plus spirit. During the 20th century, the Pentagram was associated with Satanism, probably because it was used by the Wiccans.

10 - The Anarchy Symbol

anarchy famous symbols

Anarchy is a political ideology just like democracy, monarchy, oligarchy, communism, or liberalism, that evolved in ancient Greece, meaning 'without a ruler'. Anarchy doesn’t cite lawlessness or chaos; rather, a society with proper rules and regulations put in place, but without an authoritarian ruler. However it later grabbed a negative meaning.

The symbol itself was designed by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, where letter A stands for anarchy and O for order. But now, not many people understand what this symbol really stands for as the ruling classes from the 18th and 19th centuries, enforced the negative idea behind it.


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