Trust is a belief or confidence about a person or a thing. When someone says, “I trust you,” they mean they have faith in the other person. Many culture have unique symbols for trust, some overlapping with loyalty symbols. Some significant trust symbols include wax seals, Claddagh rings, bamboo, goldfish, and freesia flowers.
Symbols of Trust and Loyalty
There isn’t a standard symbol for trust. Different cultures have their symbols and interpretations from both long ago and modern times.
Pikorua is a Maori symbol belonging to New Zealand. It gets its name from the pikopiko fern used to weave kete baskets in the country. The symbol looks like the number eight and can have double or triple twists. It represents the trust between a couple and between community members. The closed loop symbolizes that people in a relationship will find their way back to each other.
The Claddagh ring is a Celtic/ Irish symbol of love and trust that is represented by two hands holding a heart. The heart has a crown on the top. Single women wear it on the ring finger of the right hand with the heart pointing outside (indicating that it is not taken).
Engaged women wear the ring with its heart pointing toward them to indicate their relationship status. Married women wear the Claddagh ring on the left hand with the heart pointing towards them. It symbolizes love, loyalty, trust, and friendship.
Nyame Nti is an Adinkra symbol belonging to Ghanaians from West Africa. The symbol looks like a plant or a leaf and is associated with trust/ faith in God. The Asante tribe believes that God is supreme and life isn’t possible without god’s blessings. Nyame Nti translates to God’s grace.
Two Golden Fish
According to Tibetan Buddhism, two golden fish symbolize the trust between a couple. The goldfish is called Koi and has a special significance in Eastern cultures. Two golden fish indicate that the couple’s trust in each other will strengthen their bond to face various challenges. Vases and decorative items with golden fish are gifted to newlywed couples.
In Native American culture, wolves symbolize loyalty, strength, and courage. The Pawnee tribe calls itself the Wolf People. Many Native Americans worship wolf gods and spirits. Wolves are considered faithful and trustworthy as they are loyal to their partners. These animals have positive and negative associations in Norse mythology.
The trapeze artists are also a symbol of trust and teamwork. This became popular in 1859 when Jules Leotard performed an act of flying trapeze at the Cirque Napoleon. The trust between the trapeze artists is infallible, as the slightest hesitation can lead to disaster.
Pharos of Alexandria is an ancient lighthouse on the Nile River. It began to represent safety and trust as the light guides ships safely to the shore at night. Moreover, the lighthouses are built to endure harsh weather conditions on the seaside and stand strong for centuries.
Greek Symbol for Trust
There isn’t a specific Greek symbol for trust. However, ancient Greeks used to extend their right hand to show that they weren’t holding a weapon. By the Middle Ages, this progressed to shaking hands so that any hidden weapons would fall off during the process. The handshake can be considered a Greek symbol of trust.
According to some, the Asclepius Wand can be a substitute symbol of trust. It is associated with the Greek god Asclepius, the deity of medicine and healing. After all, one needs to trust the physician to get medical treatment and believe they can heal the ailment.
What Flower Symbolizes Trust?
Apart from ancient symbols, different flowers are also used to symbolize trust, loyalty, love, and friendship.
According to an old German myth, the cute little blue flowers get their name from the phrase shouted by a dying knight.
The knight and his lady are walking along the river when he bends to pick up blue flowers for her. He falls into a river and gets carried away by the current. The knight shouts: Forget me not! He then throws the flowers toward the lady. Forget-Me-Nots symbolize trust, loyalty, remembrance, and fidelity.
Freesias represent innocence and trust. They became popular during the Victorian Era (19th century England) when a botanist named the flowers after Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese, a German botanist physician, to symbolize their friendship. Freesias are delicate and fragile white flowers used to add fragrance to beauty products.
Ornithogalum – Star of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem is a star-shaped spring and summer flower native to Asia, Europe, and southern Africa. The flowers are used in weddings and signify purity, hope, honesty, innocence, happiness, and trust.
What Symbolizes Trust in the Bible?
The Bible uses mountains as an image for trust, and they’re mentioned more than 500 times. Both Jews and Christians consider the mountains sacred. Various mountains, like Ararat, Zion, and Carmel, are found in the Bible. They also represent stability, nearness to God, and permanence, while also symbolizing worship.
In the modern world of emojis, trust is symbolized by an angel emoji, a blue heart, and a handshake emoji. However, there are many man-made emojis that represent trust on social media. The interpretations change from one person to another.
Broken Trust Symbol
A broken wax seal symbolizes broken trust. The wax seal is rooted in the Middle Ages, the Indus Valley, and Mesopotamian civilizations. Important documents were sealed in an envelope, so a broken wax seal meant someone read the contents. This is why it began to represent broken trust.
The symbols of trust and loyalty represent the basic human need to have a meaningful relationship with a person, animal, community, or ideology. These symbols have been here for ages and can be found as carvings, etchings, paintings, tattoos, and artwork.
If you’ve found this post helpful, check out this post on popular protection symbols and their meanings.