This post is dedicated to my dearly beloved.
Today, as we were driving through our favorite cheater spot - Zaxby's - we saw a van in front of us with this bumper sticker. Randall mentioned that he knew what most of the symbols meant, but was unable to identify one symbol's meaning. From that conversation, this post has been born. It occurred to me that if Randall, the bottomless pit of random information, did not know what every symbol in the bumper sticker meant - then many others were wandering around without this vital piece of knowledge.
Today - I will rectify the problem. Randall will get to sleep tonight knowing exactly what every symbol in the sticker means.
You should also be aware that I am feeling particularly lazy tonight. Because of my current lazy mood, I am doing a copy / paste from this site in order to bring you the following information. Normally I would type out a brief explanation with some added comments, but not tonight. Instead, you get the information with lots of other links intermingled with your daily dose of information.
What the Different Symbols Mean:
The first symbol, the crescent moon and star, is commonly used to represent Islam. However, the symbol was in use for thousands of years before it was ever associated with Islam. Here is what it says on About.com about these symbols: "Most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of sun, moon and sky gods. There are also reports that the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana."
The second symbol is a peace symbol. The peace symbol was invented in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a London artist involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. After being used in an anti-nuclear protest, it gained popularity as a peace symbol, partly because it was easier to draw than a dove. You can read more about the origins of the peace symbol using this link.
The "e" is adorned with the symbols for male and female. According to Wikipedia, the male symbol (an arrow pointing away from a circle) is derived from the astronomical and astrological symbol for Mars.The female symbol (a cross-like symbol fixed to the bottom of a circle) is derived from the symbol of Venus. When used together, the symbols can signify intersexual or transgender. However, the designer of this sticker has told me that when he added the male and female symbols, he was trying to promote the idea of harmony between men and women. Read more about gender symbols on Wikipedia.
The next symbol is the Star of David, also known as the Shield of David. The symbol has been used since about A.D. 1000 to symbolize Judaism and the Jewish community. The symbol appears on the Israeli flag. Read more about the Star of David on Wikipedia.
The letter "i" is topped with a star within a circle. According to About.com, this is a pentacle: "The five-pointed star within a circle is the most common Pagan symbol, and it is typically used to identify oneself as a Pagan or Wiccan. The five points represent the 4 elements (Earth, air, water, fire) plus the spirit, and the circle connects them all. A five-pointed star without the circle is sometimes called a pentagram, rather than a pentacle. Based on numerology, the five points means the pentacle symbolizes the Earth element and can be used as an Earth symbol on an altar."
The letter "S" has been cleverly adapted to resemble the Taijitu, a Chinese symbol representing the idea of yin and yang from Taoist and Neo-Confucian philosophy. Yin and yang describe the two opposing but complementary forces found in nature. Yin is associated with shade and darkness as well as femininity, while yang is has associations with light and masculinity. Wikipedia describes yin and yang more fully.
The final symbol resembles a cross, which of course has come to be associated with Christianity and the crucifixion of Jesus.