Independence is vital for human happiness and for societies to succeed. Independence leads to freedom of expression, thought, and action. Humans need to remain independent as individuals to have high self-esteem and be confident. It is also crucial for nations and states to be independent of oppression and control.
Let’s consider the top 15 symbols of independence below:
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1. Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of independence and freedom in the United States. The bell was initially created in 1752 for Independence Hall. This was previously known as the Pennsylvania State House.
Soon this bell cracked, and another was created in 1753. This bell was created to represent freedom symbolically and had a verse from the bible marked on it. In the 1800s, when the drive to abolish slavery ensued, this bell was used to promote this cause. Soon it was known as the ‘Liberty Bell’.
The Bell cracked once again in 1846 but was repaired. It was rung for George Washington’s birthday but then cracked again. It has not been rung since then. The liberty bell remains a strong symbol of independence, even today. (1)
Strelitzia is also known as the ‘bird of paradise flower. This flower is unique and beautiful, with a comb-like stem and open orange and blue petals. The Strelitzia is a highly symbolic flower. It is a strong symbol of freedom and independence and can sometimes represent immortality and beauty.
It became known as the ‘bird of paradise flower’ due to its resemblance to the plumage of tropical birds. As birds are one of the strongest symbols of freedom, this association linked the flower to notions of independence and freedom. This exotic flower is also a florist’s favorite flower due to its beautiful colors and angles. (2)(3)
3. Purple color
Purple color can represent many things. It is a combination of red and blue and is commonly associated with stability and energy. But purple has often been linked to royalty, wisdom, and independence. (4)
Native to the South African region, the Nerine flower is a lily-like flower with long stems. Symbolically, the Nerine flower represents ideals of freedom, independence, and good fortune. The Nerine flower is named after the Nereids. Within Greek Mythology, the Nereids were the daughters of Nereus, the god of the sea. (5)
5. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty has long since been a famous symbol of freedom and independence in the United States. The Statue of Liberty was initially created as a symbol of friendship between the United States and France to express their mutual desire for liberty.
But today, the Statue represents much more. It represents the very spirit of freedom of the United States, a haven for exiles, and a desire to seek a better life for all who immigrate to the US. (6)
The Statue of Liberty is also known as ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’. The Statue itself is actually a figurine of ‘Libertas,’ a Roman goddess of liberty.
6. Broken Chains
Broken chains are a representation of individualism, independence, and liberation. The symbolic message is that you are free of all types of confinement and can do what you want. You have the freedom to take control of your life and make your own decisions.
Broken chains have historically been used to represent an escape from imprisonment. Prisoners usually had iron chains enclosed around their ankles to prevent them from taking long strides. This made sure the prisoners did not escape their captors.
At times, prisoners or slaves were chained to anchor posts to curtail them from wandering too far from their work camps. (7)
Dove’s are a well-known symbol of peace, freedom, and independence. Doves are humble birds that are calming and beautiful. They are innocent and often pure white. These birds are a universal symbol of love, humanity, and freedom. (8)
8. The Eagle
The bald eagle became the national bird of the US in 1782. Since then, it has been a symbol of the United States’ pride, strength, and autonomy. The bald eagle is also an expression of power and authority in the US. (9)
The Bald eagle has also been a symbol of independence and freedom in other cultures. Throughout history, the eagle has been used to represent great empires such as the Romans, the Egyptians, and the Babylonians.
Native American culture also considered the eagle sacred. As they saw this bird fly higher than other creatures, they considered it closest to ‘ the creator.’ The eagle symbolizes power, freedom, and vision for the native Americans. (10)
9. Rainbow Colors
The rainbow has long since been a representation of home. It represents beauty after the storm and good fortune. Symbolically rainbow colors can also represent inclusivity, diversity, freedom, and independence.
One of the most common applications of rainbow colors has been in the rainbow flag, symbolic to the LGBTQ social movements. The gay pride flag is one representation of the LGBTQ community and reflects its freedom and diversity within the realm of gender and the spectrum of human sexuality. (11)
10. An Open Birdcage
Generically a birdcage can represent a frame of appreciation of birds’ natural wonder or the loss of freedom for birds. Birds are avid symbols of freedom. A birdcage can also represent a loss of movement and restriction, generically.
An open birdcage can be symbolic of breaking these restrictions. An open birdcage can represent freedom, movement, living life as you will, and breaking all ties of oppression. A birdcage can also, at times, be symbolic of one’s soul. As caged birds are confined to their unnatural habitat, it’s a depressing sight that shows a loss of freedom.
The birdcage can represent an unhealthy soul. An open, empty birdcage shows a reminder of breaking free, of flying high and holding on to one’s independence. (12)
11. The Raised Fist
The raised fist has often been seen in movies and TV, on posters, and even sometimes in rallies. So what exactly does the raised fist represent? Throughout history, the raised fist has been a symbol of resistance and rebellion as well as unity against oppression.
The raised clenched fist carries the message that ‘one shall endure and overcome’. The gesture is a representation of hope, strength, and striving to attain independence from the face of oppression. In 2020 the clenched fist symbol (also known as the black fist) was tied to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The symbol represented perseverance, pride, and power in the face of injustice and inequality. (13)(14)
12. National Flags
The National Flag of a country is an avid symbol of independence. National flags symbolically represent the state and its people. They are a symbol of freedom and independence, and they give the nation a sense of identity.
For example, the national flag of India represents India’s Independence from British colonialism and also represents the toil its citizens went through to achieve freedom. The India flag consists of three colors, green, white, and saffron.
These colors represent qualities India aspires towards, such as courage, selflessness, peace, and the truth. Similarly, the tri-color on the French flag, which consists of white, red, and blue, represents concepts of liberty, equality, and fraternity. (15)
13. The Wolf
Wolves are fierce, and loyal animals with a strong sense of family and unity yet hold on to their individualism. A wolf can symbolize independence, freedom, a free spirit, and resourcefulness. Wolves also represent leadership and guardianship.
Usually, wolves travel in packs. It helps them stay protected in the face of potential threats. But sometimes, wolves also steer away from the pack and wander alone. Hence wolves are symbolic of freedom and independence as they can roam off alone.
If one dreams of a wolf, it often represents wanting adventure and independence. (16)
Flowers often hold strong symbolic meaning. The Calluna flower is highly symbolic of good fortune, wealth, and independence. The word ‘ Calluna” comes from the Greek term ‘kallunein’ which means to cleanse or to brush.
Calluna’s common name is ‘ Heather’. The Calluna flower is spread throughout the world and grows on almost every continent. (17)
15. The Echinops
Also called the Globe Thistle, the Echinops is known for its dark blue flowers and globe-like crown. The term ‘Echinops’ comes from the Greek word “ekhinos,” which means hedgehog, and the Greek word “opisis,” which means head.
The reference is to the flower’s head that resembles a hedgehog. The Echinops flower is symbolic of nobility and independence. (18)
Both independence and freedom are vital concepts essential for human happiness and survival.
Which of these Top 15 Symbols of Independence were you already aware of? Let us know in the comments below.
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