Symbols are everywhere. No matter where in the world you travel, what religion or political party you follow, we are faced with symbols on a daily basis. Symbols can take the form of words, sounds, gestures, ideas or visual images and are used to convey a particular meaning whilst saving space at the same time. For example, we are all familiar with the fact that a red octagon stands for ‘STOP’ and that a tick denotes that something is correct or has been done well. However, for plenty of symbols, their meaning has got lost in history, or repurposed as time has passed.

Have you ever looked at the most famous symbols and wondered what their meanings are or where they came from? Our latest infographic does exactly that and explores the real meaning and historic origins behind some of the most recognisable symbols in our world; from the Christian Ichthys or ‘Jesus fish’, to the peace sign – which by the way, was not thought up by the hippies but was instead intended to encourage British nuclear disarmament.

Indulge your curiosity and find out below what the following symbols really mean. There might be a few surprises along the way!



  • Kashyap Murali

    The swastika is usually straight…the Nazi swastika is the one which is turned…

    Other than that, nice article/graphic…some of the symbols I didn’t know about

  • Joplaw

    There are actually two masonic signs,1/ a plain square with square and compasses,(english rite) 2/ A capital G in the centre of the square and compasses ( Scottish rite)