PRESENT SYMBOLS THAT HAVE LOST THEIR ORIGINAL MEANING
Added on: 23rd Nov 2016
THE DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE
The double-headed eagle is a symbol that most people
wrongly associate with Russia when in fact its origin
goes back to the Byzantine Empire. Used as the
dynastic emblem of the Greek Palaiologoi dynasty (the
last emperors of the Byzantine Empire), the double-headed
eagle became the symbol of Greek Orthodox Christianity,
from whence other Orthodox nations (like
Russia, for example) later borrowed it.
The Iron Cross was originally a military decoration in Prussia
but during the First World War it became a popular symbol
in Germany and appeared on almost every German fighter
plane and tank. A few years later it became a symbol
of fascism in France then Portugal.
Today people associate the caduceus with medicine. In origin,
however, the caduceus, which features two snakes winding
around a usually winged staff, is the traditional symbol of
the Greek god Hermes, the messenger god.
THE DEVIL’S HORNS
Most of us think of Hard Rock music when we see the devil’s
horns, but this symbol’s history goes all the way back to ancient
India where it was used as a gesture by the Buddha to expel
demons and remove obstacles such as illness or negative thoughts.
THE BARBER POLE
You probably don’t know this, but the colours on the
old-fashioned, almost iconic barber pole are not random.
They symbolize the bloody legacy of the medieval period,
when people went to barbers not just for a haircut and a
shave but also for bloodletting and other medical procedures.
THE SKULL AND CROSSBONES
The skull and crossbones are mostly used these days as a
warning sign of danger, usually related to poisonous and
deadly chemicals. This symbol’s design, however, goes back
to the Middle Ages, where it was used as the absolute
symbol of death.
THE STAR OF DAVID
Since 1897, when it was chosen as the central symbol on the
flag at the First Zionist Congress, the Star of David represents
the Jewish and Zionist community worldwide. However, in the
third to fourth century AD Israel, it lacked such value and
import; it was only a decorative architectural design
When most people see this symbol they automatically think
of the Masonic brotherhood and their secret agenda for
world domination, yet its origin is quite innocent: it is
supposed to be the eye of God watching
(and protecting) humanity.