Symbol of victory, honour, and peace.

The Ancient Greeks used the laurel wreath. The laurel wreath symbolized Apollo, and the leaf itself was believed to have spiritual and physical cleansing abilities. Ancient Greeks awarded laurel wreaths to victors in the Olympics and poetic competitions. Laurel wreaths were worn on either the head or neck. Laurel wreaths were originally made from the bay laurel limbs and leaves. Later, wreaths were made from butcher’s brooms, cherry laurel, and olive trees. In Rome, the laurel wreath was used to crown a successful commander.

The laurel wreath symbol is interwoven branches shaped into a circle or horseshoe shape.

Laurel wreaths are still associated with academia. For the last two centuries in Rome, any student who has graduated receives a laurel wreath. Since 1900, in Mount Holyoke College, graduates carry or wear laurel wreaths or chains. At Reed College, seniors get a laurel wreath after finishing their senior thesis. At St. Mark’s school, seniors who have completed three years of one language and two years of another are awarded a laurel wreath. In Sweden, honorary doctorates receive a laurel wreath, and in Finland, master’s graduates are given a laurel wreath.

There is a laurel wreath on the Boy Scout’s commissioner position patches. These patches are given to people who have been in scouting and continue to help future scouts complete their programs.

Today, the laurel wreath symbolizes victory and peace.

Laurel Wreath

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