It’s the most important symbol of our fraternity, but do you know what it means? Over the years, most of us forgot and it took some searching to find out. The information below was gathered from a number of sources and most was confirmed from a description written in the pledge manual of John P. Reeve, 2nd pledge class, #61
BIRD = A Phoenix, it signifies the rebirth of the fraternity.
KEY = Knowledge
SCALES = Equality
LAURAL WREATH = Symbolizes leadership and the achievement of ideals
The inner shield has three parts symbolizing the three parts from which brother is composed: Spirit, intellect and physique.
CHAIN = The bonds of friendship and interests
STARS (2) = One symbolizes scholarship and the other, service
COLORS = Blue for faithfulness, silver for truth
FLOWER = Lavender orchid
RIBBON & GREEK WORDS – Thanks to Potter#685 for the information on this. Here is what he wrote: “A brother asked me to research the Greek words when I pledged, to get an accurate translation. I had to dig to find my pad, but here’s how it works out (in order, from left to right):
ΠΝΕΎΜΑ (SPIRIT), ΔΙΆΠΛΑΣΗ (PHYSIQUE), INTELLECT (ΔΙΆΝΟΙΑ)
There are some notes in my pad that I did forget about though. The first two Greek words are misspelled on the crest; my guess would be mistakes when transcribing from lowercase to capital letters. Also, “ΔΙΆΠΛΑΣΗ” translates to “conformation” which sounds odd. I think “physique” is a much better synonym, and more colloquial.
Hope this helps.
So there you have it…now we all know!