Before man learned about words and letters, he used different drawings and pictures to communicate stories and narratives to other people. Certain drawings or pictures were commonly used to connote particular things. Thus symbols were born. Through the years, people all over the world have used symbols to mean many different things. They have become an easy way to point out an ideology, to express an abstract thought or even to denote a group or community who share the same goals. Below are some of the most iconic symbols used throughout history and how they influenced the world.


Symbols Influence on History


The Christian fish


The Christian Fish

Vesica Pisces Pendant
The Vesica Pisces Pendant
with the Cherubim
Christians started using this symbol during the first three centuries after Christ. It was the time when many Christians were being persecuted. Some say that when a believer met a man, he drew a curved line resembling half of a fish. If the other man were a follower of Christ as well, he would complete the lower half with another curved line to create a simple drawing of a fish.

This symbol was meant to pertain to Jesus Christ, who was said to be “a fisher of men.” Other historians believe that the symbol stemmed from the word “Ichthys,” whose first letters could mean Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, an acrostic for ‘Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.’ This symbol is still used, until now, by Christians all over the world.



Egyptian Hieroglyphics


Egyptian hieroglyphics and symbols largely influence the English alphabet that we know now. Some historians even think that all alphabets of the world stem from these hieroglyphics since ancient Egyptians used symbols to represent language and even sound.



Egyptian Hieroglyphics



The Mayan Calendar


The Mayan Calendar It’s hard to imagine what life (and work) would be like without a calendar. It’s a good thing that the world adopted what was then a mixture of symbols and different glyphs. The Mayan calendar system dated as far back as 6th century BC and was used more than to differentiate days and seasons. It was also used to understand what happened in the past and even, possibly, to see what could happen in the future.



Coats of arms


These symbols were used in Europe to denote an army, a group of people or even a family lineage. Even the Japanese have their coats of arms, called the “Kamon.” These symbols have evolved into the different flags that each country has to signify nationalism patriotism as well as the unity of its people. Coats of Arms


The Swastika


The Swastika The swastika can be simply described as an equilateral cross with the arms bent at right angles. Even before Adolf Hitler was born, the swastika was already used in Indo-European cultures in the Neolithic ages. It was used to connote good fortune or luck and is still considered one of the sacred symbols of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Of course, most of us consider this as a fearsome symbol because Hitler used the swastika as his insignia when he ordered the mass murder of millions of Jews and the death in war of tens of millions people worldwide.




The Eye of Providence


The Eye of Providence Also known as the All Seeing Eye or the Eye of God, this is a ubiquitous symbol that has been used for centuries by different cultures and nationalities in both religious and non-religious settings. Depicted as a single eye set inside a triangle, it is representative of the omnipresence and omniscience of the Almighty who keeps a watch over all His creation. The symbol has generally been used to guide the wayward mankind and remind one and all that everyone’s thoughts, as well as deeds, are being observed at all times by the Creator of this universe.



The peace sign


This symbol was born in the UK about 50 years ago. It was used in anti-nuclear protests in Trafalgar Square in London. The sign was taken from the semaphores, or flag symbols, for “N” and “D” (which are the first letters in “Nuclear” and “Disarmament”) and the circle was drawn to connote the world or the earth. The symbol then became prominent in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when Americans used it for anti-war protests. It has since become one of the few symbols used for counter-culture groups and many protesters worldwide. The Peace Sign


Hammer and Sickle


Hammer and Sickle is possibly the most recognizable symbol of the former USSR and the ideology that it represented. This symbol comprising two crossed tools came up at the time of the Russian Revolution and was later incorporated on the Soviet Union flag. The hammer is traditionally a symbol for the proletariat, while the sickle is a typical symbol of the peasantry. With their coming together, the Hammer and Sickle symbol represents the unity of the workers and the peasants. Even after the Soviet Union got dissolved, the Hammer and Sickle has endured as a universal symbol of communism Hammer and Sickle





The circle is one of the most ancient, universal sacred symbols. It has held spiritual connotations for nearly all cultures worldwide and seen as symbolizing the concept of cosmic unity and eternal, infinite nature of existence. The circle is also considered to represent the heavenly bodies like the sun, the moon, and the earth, and embody their divine energy. The Circle has had a significant influence on symbology. It has inspired and has been included in many symbols from diverse cultures. circle