Famous Symbols and Their Meanings

If I’m ever not sure about what to write about, it doesn’t take long for me to peruse the CSD photo gallery for inspiration. Today was no different. As a writer, I was taught that symbols stand for something. Interestingly, throughout history, symbols can shift in their meaning. Moreover, they can completely change due to cultural, economical and historical changes. In this post I’ll be highlighting  those symbols. A series of framing jobs CSD completed depict famous symbols from around the world.

GoodCharacters.com notes that the Chinese symbol for love actually includes a heart shape in the middle of the character. If you look closely at this gorgeous piece of art, you can locate the heart. It is seemingly “Broken” by a horizontal line going through the shape. Other cool facts? The symbol’s name is called “Hanzi,” Additionally, in the past half decade, the Chinese have struggled to simplify their writing system. Many rejected the notion that traditional symbols are too difficult and too extensive to write in everyday Chinese culture. A lot of the symbols they use are dated from thousands of years ago.

The Fleur de Lis, a depiction of a lily with three petals used by French Royalty as a sort of family crest. Unfortunately, USA Today notates that the symbol contains a darker history within it as well. Accordingly to their site, the Fluer de Lis adopted a “Black Code” meaning in Louisiana in the year 1724. It was adopted from the methods of other French colonies around the world. If a slave was caught trying to escape, the symbol would be branded on their body and their ears cut. Additionally, with a second escape, a slave could expect a cut hamstring and a deeper branding of the symbol on his or her flesh.

The cherub is certain to be a symbol a lot of people have seen in paintings and other mediums of art, often depicted as floating angels. But what do they really represent? According to web.ccbce.com, the cherubim were tasked with guarding the gates to the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were cast out by God. In addition, cherubim are documented fairly frequently throughout Christian religious text. Interestingly, the actual physical description of them isn’t mentioned in detail. Thus, the adoption of infants with wings and rosy cheeks became the symbol for the cherubim.


There you have it. Popular symbols are fluid– they change with the time and tide. These symbols, however, have somehow managed to reach through history and still affect us today.