Marker Symbols and Meanings
Anchor: Christ, because he prevents people from becoming lost. Can mean the deceased person was a sailor.
Angels: Spirituality. Angels guard the tomb, guide the soul, pray for the soul.
Banner: Victory or triumph
Bird: Symbol of the soul
Book: The Bible or Wisdom. A stack of books indicates knowledge. If the book is open, the word of God was revealed to the deceased.
Butterfly: Short life
Candle Being Snuffed: Loss of life
Chalice: Wine, a drink Christians use to symbolize the blood of Christ.
Chain links: Three or five chain links are a Masonic symbol.
Child: A sleeping child was used to symbolize death during the Victorian era.
Coat of Arms: Mark of status and wealth. It may be used to signify the country the deceased person came from.
Cross: One of the most common images found on Christian gravestones.
Cross, heart, and anchor: Faith, hope, charity
Crown: Faithfulness and the glory of death as purification.
Dog: A "good master" or worthy of love.
Door: Entrance to a new life, an opening to the house of the dead
Dove: A bird that appears in both Christian and Jewish cemeteries.
Drapery: Sorrow and mourning
Eagles: Fierceness and ascension. Eagles are often found on the markers of veterans.
Eye: God's eye watching over good Christians
Fish: Christian abundance
Flame from urn: Christian life
Fleur-de-lis: is used to signify the Virgin Mary and the Trinity.
Fruit: the deceased person lived a righteous life.
Gate: Departure from life; entrance to heaven, Death is thought to be the "gateway" to heaven.
Harp or lyre: Heavenly music or joy
Heart: The living still care about the person who died.
Hourglass: Time has run out
Emblem of Organizations denote membership.
Lamb: Most commonly found on 19th century child markers, stands for innocence.
Lamp: Word of God, truth and good works. Signifies the immortality of the Spirit.
Lion: Courage; guards the tomb
Menorah: Emblem of Judaism
Mourning Figure Usually a woman.
Peacock: Incorrupt. It also signifies resurrection, beauty of the soul, and immorta1ity.
Ring, Broken: The family has been severed
Rock: Steadfastness and stability
Rooster: A wakening, resurrection
Scales: Equality and justice.
Sea Shells/Scallop Shell: Man's earthly pilgrimage. Also, a symbol of birth and resurrection.
Scroll: Law or scriptures
Scythe: A harvesting tool that represents death
Sheep are the Christians, and Jesus was the shepherd.
Ship: Can signify the occupation of deceased or man's journey through life.
Snake (tail in mouth): Everlasting life
Sword: Martyrdom, courage or warfare
Swords, Crossed: Military person of high rank
Three (chains, points, leaves, etc.) symbolizes the Trinity
Trumpet: call to the glory of resurrection
Wreath: ancient symbol for victory