Almost every culture has symbols of unity. Around the world, symbols for unity are found in people’s artwork, on their bodies, and during important ceremonies. Unity symbols are a powerful way to express one’s values and commitments to people you love.
Here is a list of common symbols that represent unity from different cultures and contexts. Some of these unity symbols could be used for tattoos, jewelry, sigils, or runes. Others work well as home decorations or other artwork. Out of these symbols that mean unity, you are sure to find one that resonates with you.
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Symbols for unity vary from simplified logos to complex motifs that have centuries of tradition standing behind them. Here are a few common, universal unity symbols that you may come across during your daily life, such as the triquetra, triskelion, wheel of life, and Celtic love knot.
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Unity Symbol Examples
Rainbows manage to unite seven different colors in one gorgeous expression of natural beauty.
They happen when two very different natural forces—the sun and the rain—appear at the same time, uniting to form a rainbow.
In many religions, people believe that rainbows are a physical bridge between Heaven and Earth. It’s no wonder that rainbows symbolize unity!
Rainbows are a symbol of unity and hope in Christianity thanks to the story of Noah’s ark. The rainbow is also a symbol of the resilience and unity of the LGBTQ community and is now part of the flag.
I love this Inspirational Rainbow Cuff Bracelet from Amazon!
2. Triangle in a Circle
A triangle inside a circle is a more recent symbol for unity, but no less potent. It consists of an equilateral triangle, or a triangle with three equal sides, nestled inside a circle.
The three sides of the triangle represent a balance between different spiritual principles while the circle represents perfect unity.
The triangle in a circle is used by many Alcoholics Anonymous groups and other sobriety circles. People use it to draw strength as they battle addiction.
Here is a great AA Recovery Necklace or keychain example from Amazon!
3. Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist symbol that captures all the complexities of the religion’s worldview in one drawing.
The wheel has components symbolizing the Six Realms, different Bodhisattvas, as well as other figures from Buddhist cosmology.
The Wheel of Life is a complex symbol frequently replicated in mandalas and other forms of Buddhist art. It represents the total progression of life from birth to death as well as the unity we experience with all living creatures.
A beautiful example of the Buddhism Dharma Wheel of Life in a Necklace!
The ribbon is another universal symbol of unity used by humanitarian organizations.
Usually, it symbolizes people putting aside their differences to work together toward a common goal. Ribbons come in different colors depending on the goals of the organization.
For example, organizations that fight breast cancer have a pink ribbon.
This Dragonfly Breast Cancer Awareness Necklace is gorgeous and perfect for anyone fighting breast cancer or supporting someone who is!
There are several different kinds of unity in the world, which manifests in the variety within symbols of unity. Here are a few symbols that specifically represent unity and love.
5. Love Knot
The love knot is a universal symbol of romantic unity between two partners. It takes several different forms, from a simple stylized ribbon to a knot made of complicated, intertwined knots and loops.
There are references to love knots in medieval England and even India.
Although it is usually stylistic, in some cases people would give a physical knot to young couples and if the knot did not fray or break after a year, that meant that they were meant to stay together forever.
I love this Irish Celtic Love Knot Necklace intertwined to represent the eternal bond of marriage!
6. Clasped Hands
Clasped hands symbolize the unity of different people who are working together toward the same goal. It is a popular symbol used by many humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations.
Clasped hands are also a symbol of romantic love and unity. After all, holding hands is one of the purest expressions of love according to many people.
In the past, it was common to engrave clasped hands on the tombstones of married people to symbolize the strength of their romantic union even after death.
This Clasped Hands Symbol of Fidelity and Friendship Fede Ring on Etsy is a beautiful example of the clasped hands symbol of unity!
Unity is often the only way that individuals can find security and survival. That is why many symbols that represent unity also represent strength. Here are a few popular ones that have historical and cultural significance.
7. Join or Die
One of the oldest symbols of the United States that predates the country itself is Benjamin Franklin’s “Join or Die.”
On the eve of the French and Indian War, Franklin published a cartoon showing a snake chopped into eight pieces with the names of different colonies.
He captioned it “Join or Die,” encouraging the colonies to join together in a military alliance against the French threat.
A few decades later, the cartoon was used to encourage the colonies to join a military alliance again—this time against the British Empire.
To this day, it is a powerful message that even weak individuals can take down stronger ones if they work together.
This Join or Die Unisex T-Shirt from Amazon is a perfect example of this historically important symbol of strength and unity.
A pempamsie is a symbol of strength through unity as well as preparedness. It comes from the Ashanti people in West Africa.
A pempamsie is just one of many different Adinkra symbols, which are symbols representing important concepts that get used in architecture, print, and design.
The pempamsie looks like two curved sections joined together with a vertical bar in the middle. The curves represent links in a chain, which is why many people consider it a symbol of unity and strength.
This Pempamsie Keychain from Amazon is a perfect example of strength, unity, and preparedness.
Unity is how peace is forged, which is why many cultures have symbols that represent peace, love, and unity. The following peace, love and unity symbols have been carefully chosen for their cool vibes!
9. Bi Nka Bi
Also known as a symbol of harmony, Bi Nka Bi is another Adinkra symbol from the Ashanti people in present-day Ghana. The fan-like symbol is meant to represent two fish biting each other’s tails.
Bi Nka Bi roughly represents the adage “no one should bite the other.” It is a symbol that encourages people to treat each other with love and respect instead of harshness. Only then will true peace and unity be achieved.
This Bi Nka Bi notebook shows this peace, love, and unity symbol in perfect detail!
PLUR stands for “Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect”, and is a powerful unity symbol. This is a common theme in modern Western art and graphic design.
PLUR combines the peace sign, a heart, a yin-yang symbol, and shaking hands to represent these important ideas, and is really just the four symbols lined up in a row.
A great example of this unity symbol can be found in this 90s Retro PLUR Shirt on Etsy!
Many couples like to incorporate symbols that mean unity into their wedding ceremonies as a way to express their hope in the strength of their bond.
Doves are powerful symbols of romantic love and unity. These birds mate for life with only one other partner, showing the kind of loyalty that many humans can only hope to emulate.
Many weddings incorporate doves by using dove imagery in decorations or even releasing live doves.
The dove symbol has represented peace, love, and unity for centuries, and I love the simple, yet beautiful outline depicted in this Dove Sterling Silver Necklace!
12. The Color Blue
You’ve probably heard the adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” about American wedding customs.
Blue has been my favorite color since I was a teenager, especially the teals and turquoises!
The inclusion of blue seems rather random, but its importance at weddings goes beyond just making the rhyme work.
The color blue symbolizes trust and unity. It also represents peacefulness and calm, which is what many couples are hoping to achieve in their marriage.
That is why many wedding arrangements have blue flowers such as hyacinths and Hydrangeas.
13. Unity Braid
The unity braid is a more modern symbol of unity, but still common at many modern Christian weddings. The braid consists of three multicolored strands that form one thick cord.
The different strands represent the two spouses and God, showing how intertwined their love is with their faith. During the ceremony, the groom holds one end of the cord while the bride braids the three strands together.
This Unity Symbols Braid Sign on Amazon also features a quote from Ecclesiastes.
Unity within the family is an important value, which is why there are so many symbols representing family unity!
Swans are sometimes seen as a symbol of the love between two partners or two parents because these birds mate for life.
However, they also are a symbol of family unity and the undying bond between parents and children. These birds are known for being very protective of their young, which is why many fierce mothers identify with swans.
I love the design of this Swan T-Shirt from Etsy!
15. Red and White Roses
The use of red and white roses to symbolize family unity dates back to the Wars of the Roses, which happened during the 15th century in England.
During this civil war between two related houses, the House of Lancaster, whose symbol was the red rose, and the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose, fought to control the English throne.
When the war finally ended, the red and white roses together symbolized the unity of the two houses and a promise to not fight anymore.
Since then, “the Wars of the Roses” is often used as a metaphor for fights within the family, particularly in England. An arrangement of red and white roses together is a reminder to stop the fights before they get too bitter!
I love the Red and White Roses being brought together as a symbol of family unity and strength!
Ancient people all over the world valued unity, which is reflected in the wide variety of unity symbols they left behind.
The circle is one of the simplest, yet most perfect symbols of unity. It has no beginning or end, so its path is infinite. The circle can also encompass any other shape with no trouble, showing how easily it can unify with others to create more complex images.
I have always wanted a real Diamond Circle of Love Necklace for it’s sheer elegance and simplicity. The circle reminds us that we are ALL one, as well as never-ending!
Diamonds are also said to heal mental and emotional pain, and strengthen the crown chakra.
The ouroboros is represented by a snake eating its tail. It was common in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and in gnostic and alchemical communities, although it is still in use to this day.
The ouroboros represents continuity and the connection between all things because all matter is in a continuous cycle of rebirth and destruction, just like the snake is always eating its tail.
All I can say is “Yuck-e-doo” and I am not a huge fan of snakes, but some people are, which is totally fine by me!
Ouroboros may be a great ancient symbol of unity tattoo if you have been in your own cycle of addiction and healing, or destruction and rebirth in some other form!
I love this Necklace that combines the Ouroboros Symbol with the Celtic Triqueta or Triangle Knot like in the T.V. series Charmed, which would also make a great unity symbol tattoo!
The Greek lower-case letter lambda, which looks like a curve supported by a stilt, also represented the concept of “sameness.”
To the ancient Spartans, it represented complete unity as well as people’s freedom to express their individuality. For those reasons, lambda was a symbol of the early LGBTQ community.
This lower-case Lambda Pendant is a perfect example of the symbols of unity within the LGBTQ community.
Yin-yang is an important concept in ancient Chinese philosophy as well as modern beliefs. It is represented by a black semicircle with a white dot connected to a white semicircle with a black dot.
Together, they represent opposite concepts—light and dark, male and female, fire and water—that still unite to form a cohesive whole.
A cool idea for a Yin Yang Bonsai Tree Tattoo is depicted on This Hoodie.
As far as symbols of unity go, the Yin Yang symbol perfectly represents balance in all things. This Hand-Carved Yin Yang Jewelry Box is one of my favorite things on Amazon, and also an amazing price while it lasts!
Sometimes spelled Ohm and said, “Aum”, Om is an important symbol in Hinduism and other Indian religions. It is a Sanskrit letter that represents unity, knowledge, and other important concepts.
Devotees believe that it represents the sound of the universe, which is why many people chant it during meditation. It is often used as a unity symbol logo for representing yoga and meditation centers.
This Om Symbol Orgonite Luminous Necklace glows in the dark, is made of real crystals, and is said to protect from EMF pollution!
Celtic cultures have many symbols with meanings of unity and togetherness. These unity symbols could be used for tattoos and are popular in body art.
21. Trinity Knot
The Celtic Trinity Knot, also known as a triquetra, is a symbol made up of three intertwined arcs.
Sometimes, artists add extra flourishes with circles and designs, but the basic shape stays the same.
It represents unity within the self of the soul, heart, and mind and is a powerful foundation of Celtic philosophy.
The triquetra unity knot is beautiful when combined with other symbols, such as the circle, and I love this example of the Triquetra with the Crescent Moon Necklace!
The triskelion consists of three spirals attached at the center, forming a vaguely triangular shape.
It symbolizes a more external form of unity, the unity of physical, mental, and spiritual planes.
This Celtic spin on the triskelion symbol would make a really cool unity symbol tattoo! If you are working on Mastery, and strengthening your mind, body, and spirit – Then this one may be for you!
A great example of the triskelion can be found on this Triskelion Unity Pendant!
23. Tree of Life
Trees are very important in the Celtic religion. The Celtic tree of life is a stylized depiction of a tree with a braided crown of branches and roots. The branches and roots form a circle around it.
The tree of life is a powerful symbol of unity with nature as well as the unity of all living things.
Here is a gorgeous Celtic tree of life symbol example in a handmade Boho Chic Bracelet for an amazing price!
Final Thoughts on Unity Symbol Images (Perfect for Tattoos!)
Unity is a powerful sentiment and the key to building strong, harmonious families, marital bonds, and societies.
It’s no wonder cultures all over the world and throughout time have used symbols to represent this important idea in art, architecture, and spiritual practice.
This collection of unity symbols can help you plan a wedding ceremony, design a tattoo, or just figure out new ways to embody unity.
References for Symbol of Unity Ideas
This site offers a useful general overview of different unity symbols.
This article expands more on the Wheel of Life symbol and its deeper meanings.
This blog discusses several symbols of love, including love and unity.
For more on the significance of “Join or Die,” go here.
This is an excellent resource for Adinkra symbols.
This blog unpacks several unity symbols popular at weddings and family gatherings.
Finally, for more on Celtic symbols, check this site.