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An emblem is an abstract or representational pictorial
image An image (from la, imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non- ...

image
that represents a
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bo ...

concept
, like a
moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...
truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In ...

truth
, or an
allegory As a literary device A narrative technique (known for literary fiction Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded as having literary merit, from most commercial or "genre" fiction. However, the b ...

allegory
, or a person, like a king or
saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' depends on the context and Christian denomination, denominatio ...

saint
.


Emblems vs. symbols

Although the words ''emblem'' and ''
symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), m ...

symbol
'' are often used interchangeably, an emblem is a pattern that is used to represent an
idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philoso ...

idea
or an individual. An emblem crystallizes in concrete, visual terms some abstraction: a deity, a tribe or nation, or a virtue or vice. An emblem may be worn or otherwise used as an identifying
badge A badge is a device or accessory, often containing the of an , which is presented or displayed to indicate some feat of service, a special accomplishment, a symbol of authority granted by taking an oath (e.g., police and fire), a sign of legit ...

badge
or
patch Patch may refer to: Places * Patch, St. Louis, a neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri * Patch, Gwbert, South Ceredigion, Wales People * Patch Adams, a.k.a. Hunter Adams (born 1945), founder of the Gesundheit! Institute * Alexander Patch (18 ...
. For example, in America, police officers' badges refer to their personal metal emblem whereas their woven emblems on uniforms identify members of a particular unit. A real or metal cockle shell, the emblem of
St. James the Apostle
St. James the Apostle
, sewn onto the hat or clothes, identified a medieval pilgrim to his shrine at
Santiago de Compostela Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the of , in northwestern . The city has its origin in the shrine of , now the , as the destination of the , a leading Catholic route since the 9th century. In 1985, the city's Old Town was designated a . ...

Santiago de Compostela
. In the Middle Ages, many saints were given emblems, which served to identify them in paintings and other images: St. Catherine had a wheel, or a sword, St. Anthony Abbot, a pig and a small bell. These are also called attributes, especially when shown carried by or close to the saint in art. Kings and other grand persons increasingly adopted
personal device Personal may refer to: Aspects of persons' respective individualities * Privacy Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. When something ...
s or emblems that were distinct from their family
heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flag A fla ...
. The most famous include
Louis XIV of France , house = Bourbon , father = Louis XIII of France Louis XIII (; sometimes called the Just; 27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was List of French monarchs, King of France from 1610 to 1643 and List of Navarrese monarchs, K ...
's sun, the
salamander Salamanders are a group of amphibian Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the Class (biology), class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most spe ...
of
Francis I of France Francis I (french: François Ier; frm, Francoys; 12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547) was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Roya ...
, the
boar The wild boar (''Sus scrofa''), also known as the wild swine, common wild pig, Eurasian wild pig, or simply wild pig, is a suid native to much of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large ...

boar
of
Richard III of England Richard III (2 October 145222 August 1485) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fr ...
and the
armillary sphere An armillary sphere (variations are known as spherical astrolabe An astrolabe ( grc, ἀστρολάβος ; ar, ٱلأَسْطُرلاب ; persian, ستاره‌یاب ) is an ancient astronomical instrument that was a handheld model of the ...

armillary sphere
of
Manuel I of Portugal Manuel I (; 31 May 146913 December 1521), known as the Fortunate ( pt, O Venturoso), was list of Portuguese monarchs, King of Portugal from 1495 to 1521. A member of the House of Aviz, Manuel was Duke of Beja and Duke of Viseu, Viseu prior to suc ...
. In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, there was a fashion, started in Italy, for making large
medal A medal or medallion is a small portable artistic object, a thin disc, normally of metal, carrying a design, usually on both sides. They typically have a commemorative purpose of some kind, and many are given as awards. They may be intend ...

medal
s with a portrait head on the obverse and the emblem on the reverse; these would be given to friends and as
diplomatic gift A diplomatic gift is a gift given by a :diplomat, politician or leader when visiting a foreign country. Usually the gift is reciprocated by the host. The use of diplomatic gifts dates back to the ancient world and givers have competed to outdo ea ...
s.
Pisanello Pisanello (c. 1380/1395c. 1450/1455), born Antonio di Puccio Pisano or Antonio di Puccio da Cereto, also erroneously called Vittore Pisano by Giorgio Vasari Giorgio Vasari (, also , ; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, arch ...
produced many of the earliest and finest of these. A symbol, on the other hand, substitutes one thing for another, in a more concrete fashion: * The
Christian cross The Christian cross, seen as a representation of the crucifixion of Jesus on a large wooden cross, is a renowned religious symbol, symbol of Christianity. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a ''corpus'', usually a three-dimensio ...

Christian cross
is a symbol of the
Crucifixion Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering that someone ...

Crucifixion
; it is an emblem of sacrifice. * The
Red Cross The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international movement with approximately 97 million , members and staff worldwide, which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to ...

Red Cross
is one of three symbols representing the
International Red Cross The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC; french: Comité international de la Croix-Rouge) is a humanitarian organization based in Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Cologny, Lancy, Grand-Saconnex, Pre ...
. A red cross on a white background is the emblem of humanitarian spirit. * The
crescent A crescent shape (, ) is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very differe ...

crescent
shape is a symbol of the moon; it is an emblem of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
. * The
skull and crossbones Skull and crossbones is a symbol of a human skull with two long bones crossed below it. It is used in several contexts: *Skull and crossbones (symbol), as a symbol of death and especially as a memento mori on tombstones, a warning symbol of poisonou ...
is a symbol identifying a
poison In biology, poisons are Chemical substance, substances that can cause death, injury or harm to organs, Tissue (biology), tissues, Cell (biology), cells, and DNA usually by chemical reactions or other activity (chemistry), activity on the molecul ...

poison
. The
skull The skull is a bone A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth found in North A ...
is an .


Other terminology

A
totem A totem (from oj, ᑑᑌᒼ, italics=no or ''doodem The Anishinaabe The Anishinaabe are a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples resident in what are now called Canada and the United States. They include the Odawa, Saulteaux, O ...

totem
is specifically an animal emblem that expresses the spirit of a
clan A clan is a group of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of ...

clan
. Emblems in
heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flag A fla ...
are known as
charge Charge or charged may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Charge, Zero Emissions/Maximum Speed'', a 2011 documentary Music * Charge (David Ford album), ''Charge'' (David Ford album) * Charge (Machel Montano album), ''Charge'' (Mac ...
s. The serves as the emblem of England, the
lion rampant The lion is a common charge in heraldry Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, ...

lion rampant
as the emblem of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. An
icon An icon (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

icon
consists of an image (originally a religious image), that has become standardized by convention. A
logo A logo (abbreviation of logotype; ) is a graphic Graphics () are visual The visual system comprises the sensory organ A sense is a biological system A biological system is a complex network which connects several biologically rel ...

logo
is an impersonal, secular icon, usually of a
corporate entity A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law 'born out of statute"; a legal person in legal context) and rec ...

corporate entity
.


Emblems in history

Since the 15th century the terms of emblem (''emblema''; from el, ἔμβλημα, meaning "embossed ornament") and emblematura belong to the ''termini technici'' of
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
. They mean an
icon An icon (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

icon
ic painted, drawn, or sculptural representation of a concept affixed to houses and belong—like the inscriptions—to the architectural ornaments (ornamenta). Since the publication of ''De Re Aedificatoria'' (1452, Ten Books of Architecture), by
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Eu ...

Leon Battista Alberti
(1404–1472), patterned after the ''
De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') is a treatise on architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the ...

De architectura
'' by the Roman architect and engineer
Vitruvius Vitruvius (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC) was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled ''De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') i ...

Vitruvius
, ''emblema'' are related to Egyptian hieroglyphics and are considered as being the lost universal language. Therefore, the emblems belong to the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
knowledge of antiquity which comprises not only Greek and Roman antiquity but also Egyptian antiquity as proven by the numerous
obelisk An obelisk (; from grc, ὀβελίσκος ; diminutive of ''obelos'', " spit, nail, pointed pillar") is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion A pyramidion (plural: pyramidia) is the ...

obelisk
s built in 16th and 17th century Rome. The 1531 publication in Augsburg of the first
emblem book Image:Guillaume de La Perrière - Le Théâtre des bons engins LX.jpg, Woodcut from Guillaume de La Perrière, ''Le Théâtre des bons engins'', 1545. An emblem book is a book collecting emblems (allegorical illustrations) with accompanying explanat ...
, the ''
Emblemata Title page of the book ''Emblematum liber'' by Andrea Alciato (1531) Usually known simply as the ''Emblemata'', the first emblem book appeared in Augsburg (Germany) in 1531 under the title ''Viri Clarissimi D. Andreae Alciati Iurisconsultiss. Med ...

Emblemata
'' of the Italian jurist
Andrea Alciato Portrait of Andrea Alciato, reproduced from the 1584 edition of his emblem book Andrea Alciato (8 May 149212 January 1550), commonly known as Alciati (Andreas Alciatus), was an Italian jurist and writer. He is regarded as the founder of the Fren ...
launched a fascination with emblems that lasted two centuries and touched most of the countries of western Europe. "Emblem" in this sense refers to a didactic or moralizing combination of picture and text intended to draw the reader into a self-reflective examination of his or her own
life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a physical object or physical body (or simply an object or body) is a collection of matter within a ...

life
. Complicated associations of emblems could transmit information to the culturally-informed viewer, a characteristic of the 16th-century artistic movement called
Mannerism Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art ''; by Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , #Pronunciation of name, see below; October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period Painting, painter who speciali ...
. A popular collection of emblems, which ran to many editions, was presented by
Francis Quarles Francis Quarles (about 8 May 1592 – 8 September 1644) was an English poet most notable for his emblem book Image:Guillaume de La Perrière - Le Théâtre des bons engins LX.jpg, Woodcut from Guillaume de La Perrière, ''Le Théâtre des bons engi ...
in 1635. Each of the emblems consisted of a paraphrase from a passage of Scripture, expressed in ornate and metaphorical language, followed by passages from the Christian Fathers, and concluding with an
epigram An epigram is a brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek, Greek "inscription" from "to write on, to inscribe", and the literary device has been employed for o ...
of four lines. These were accompanied by an emblem that presented the symbols displayed in the accompanying passage.


Emblems in speech

Emblems are certain gestures which have a specific meaning attached to them. These meanings usually are associated with the culture they are established in. Using emblems creates a way for humans to communicate with one another in a non-verbal way. An individual waving their hand at a friend, for example, would communicate "hello" without having to verbally say anything.


Emblems vs. sign language

Although sign language uses hand gestures to communicate words in a non-verbal way, it should not be confused with emblems. Sign language contains linguistic properties, similar to those used in verbal languages, and is used to communicate entire conversations. Linguistic properties are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, etc... In contrast with sign language, emblems are a non-linguistic form of communication. Emblems are single gestures which are meant to get a short non-verbal message to another individual.


Emblems in culture

Emblems are associated with the culture they are established in and are subjective to that culture. For example, the sign made by forming a circle with the thumb and forefinger is used in America to communicate "OK" in a non-verbal way, in Japan to mean "money", and in some southern European countries to mean something sexual. Furthermore, the thumbs up sign in America means "good job ", but in some parts of the Middle East the thumbs up sign means something highly offensive.


See also

*
Coat of arms#REDIRECT coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the fu ...

Coat of arms
*
Crest Crest or CREST may refer to: Buildings *The Crest (Huntington, New York) The Crest is a historic house on Eatons Neck in Suffolk County, New York. Although on the land mass of Eatons Neck, the house today is within the jurisdiction of the Incor ...
*
Emblem book Image:Guillaume de La Perrière - Le Théâtre des bons engins LX.jpg, Woodcut from Guillaume de La Perrière, ''Le Théâtre des bons engins'', 1545. An emblem book is a book collecting emblems (allegorical illustrations) with accompanying explanat ...
*
Meme A meme ( ) is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carries symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme. A meme acts as a unit for carrying culture, c ...

Meme
*
Mission patchA mission patch is a cloth reproduction of a spaceflight mission emblem worn by astronauts and other personnel affiliated with that mission. It is usually executed as an embroidered patch. The term space patch is mostly applied to an emblem designed ...
*
National emblem The national emblem means "national crest / shield emblem or logo design", which represents the image and dignity of the country's political power and people. It is one of the symbols of a country's political power.The national emblem is an emble ...
* Saint symbology *
Seal (emblem) A seal is a device for making an impression in Sealing wax, wax, clay, paper, or some other medium, including an embossment on paper, and is also the impression thus made. The original purpose was to authenticate a document, or to prevent interf ...
*
Symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), m ...

Symbol
*
Badge A badge is a device or accessory, often containing the of an , which is presented or displayed to indicate some feat of service, a special accomplishment, a symbol of authority granted by taking an oath (e.g., police and fire), a sign of legit ...

Badge


References


Further reading


Emblematica Online.
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Libraries. 1,388 facsimiles of emblem books. * Moseley, Charles, ''A Century of Emblems: An Introduction to the Renaissance Emblem'' (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1989)


Notes


External links

*Camerarius, Joachim (1605
''Symbolorum & emblematum''
- digital facsimile of book of emblems, from the website of the
Linda Hall Library The Linda Hall Library is a privately endowed A financial endowment is a legal structure for managing, and in many cases indefinitely perpetuating, a pool of Financial instrument, financial, real estate, or other investments for a specific purpo ...
{{Authority control *