Skip to Content

Top 15 Symbols of Nobility and Their Meanings

Top 15 Symbols of Nobility and Their Meanings

Throughout the course of history, symbolic representation of power, might, and the nobility has been apt. Animals have widely been used as a representation of royalty and various elements of nature. Different cultures have created other symbols of power that were relevant at the time. Chinese Mythology has been rich in symbolism and has symbolized imperial authority by representing elements of the universe. 

Chinese symbols have gathered over the years and appear on many dragon robes or sacrificial robes of the Chinese emperor. Hence symbols of the nobility have also played an essential role in ancient ceremonies. Many of the signs discussed here are contemporary as well as antique. They have held importance in different eras. They have also been derived from different cultures and mythological concepts. 

Let’s have a look at the top 15 symbols of nobility throughout history:

1. Eagle

Eagle as a symbol of nobility
Image Courtesy:

Since ancient times, the eagle has been used to symbolize power, authority, and nobility. It has remained a potent symbol of leadership and control through the ages. Various cultures refer to the eagle as a symbol of power and nobility because they are inspired by its ability to fly effortlessly high in the sky.

In many cultures, eagles were also described as messengers of God with powers from heaven. Aztec people used to draw eagles on the bodies of their soldiers, who possessed utmost strength and courage. [1]

2. Horse

Side view of a horse.
Side view of a horse
Marcelo Chagas via Pexels

The horse has also represented the nobility since the olden days. This animal was revered in ancient times and used as a symbol of power. In wars, horses symbolized dominance, endurance, and courage. [2] The Native Americans considered the horse a highly spiritual animal that represented freedom.

Tribes with the most horses were considered the wealthiest and often won most battles. In the Chinese zodiac, the horse directly symbolized nobility and faithfulness. [3]

3. Circle

A circle Light.
A circle Light
Image courtesy:

The circle is often viewed as a symbol of feminine power and intelligence. It was said that this kind of power is present in all women. Nowadays, a circle is also considered a symbol of unity and connects life. [4] It symbolizes wholeness and original perfection, eternity, and all cyclic movements. [5]

4. Ruby

A Ruby Stone.
A Ruby Stone
Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It has been said that rubies have the power of life because their redness is similar to blood flowing in the veins. It is the king of precious stones, and its name comes from “ruber” which means red. It is a symbol of wealth and nobility. [6] 

The royalty liked to wear crowns decorated with rubies because they represented good fortune and courage. Its deep red color also represents deep emotions such as love and passion. Ancient folklore would also say that rubies contained the blood of mother earth. Some also noted that rubies could tell a misfortune is coming by turning into a very dark red color. [7] 

5. Crown

A crown.
A crown
Image courtesy: / Creative Commons Zero – CC0

The crown symbolizes power and nobility. It is worn to show absolute authority and power. It also represents glory, victory, divinity, and wealth. From ancient times, the royalty wore crowns to show that they were undisputed rulers.

The most ancient crown is from the copper age around 4500 – 6500 BCE. Even the monarchs of ancient civilizations such as Romans, Pharaohs, Mayans, and Inca tribes wore crowns to show their supremacy over others. [8]

6. Scepter

Image by Bielan BNeres from Pixabay

The scepter is a staff or a wand that a ruler or a king holds. It symbolizes authority and sovereignty. The word scepter originates from a Greek verb meaning to lean on something. A scepter symbolizes the sovereign authority of an emperor. [9]

These kinds of staffs were also used in Ancient Egypt. The earliest scepter was discovered in the 2nd Dynasty in Abydos. Scepters were also used in the era of Mesopotamia, where they were called gidru or hattum. [10]

7. The Orb

A Marble Orb.
A Marble Orb
Image by JT_Ryan from Pixabay

The orb symbolizes royal power. It is made of gold or silver and is encrusted with precious stones. The orb is used to represent imperial power. Its cross is mounted on a globe which symbolizes that Christianity dominates the world.

The bands of jewels are divided into three parts representing the three continents of medieval times. Even today, during the coronation service, the orb is put in the king’s right hand to symbolize sovereignty. It is then placed on the altar before the crowning of the king. [11]

8. The Key

Old Keys.
An Old Keys
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on StockSnap

The key has been used as a symbol of authority and power for a very long time. It also represents knowledge, and opening up locked doors, thus accessing good fortune. In the Bible, it is said that Jesus gave Peter the keys to heaven.

It is also noted that the Jewish midwives would put a key in the hands of a woman giving birth to ensure safe delivery. The Easter European considered that a person who hung a key upside down on the wall over his bed will always have good dreams. In ancient Turkey, a key was buried along with the dead so that the dead could unlock the Otherworld’s door. [12]

9. Sun

Sun shining brightly.
Sun shining brightly
Image by dimitrisvetsikas1969 from Pixabay

The sun with wings on it is a symbol of royalty and power, especially in ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia. [13] In most religions, the sun is indicated by a halo or an illuminated crown. The sun gives light and energy and is an essential element for life.

Its symbol also says that the sun can keep us away from harmful elements. Sun symbolizes life, positivity, and confidence. It is the most used and respected symbol of all ages. [14]

10. Moon

The moon is a powerful symbol that sometimes also represents power and nobility. The different phases of the moon emphasize concepts like immortality, eternity, and inner knowledge. The moon sometimes also serves as a middle ground between consciousness and unconsciousness.

This is due to its placement as the middle ground between the lightness of the sun and the darkness of the night. In astrology, the moon also hints at the different phases of human development. Infancy is seen through the new moon; the crescent moon represents youthfulness and development, the full moon denotes pregnancy and maturity, and the declining moon hints at the decline of life. [15] 

11. Mountain

Golden Mountain.
Golden Mountain
Heri Maharjan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Chinese culture and Mythology, the mountain represents the ability of the emperor to rule the earth. The mountain is symbolic of the stability of the planet and might. [16] 

Mountains also symbolize constancy, firmness, stillness, and eternity. Mountains also evoke awe and power like no other symbols can capture. They express might and strength and aptly represent the world’s noble and powerful. [17]

12. Three Star Constellation

Three Star Constellation
Three Star Constellation
Roberto Mura, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Within Chinese Mythology, the three-star constellation is accompanied by the sun and the moon and hints at the cosmic universe. This three-star constellation represents the Chinese emperor and denotes his eternal love and pardon for his people. [18]

13. Two Goblets

Within Chinese Mythology, two goblets are depicted on the emperor’s robes to represent imperial loyalty and filial piety. Within Taoist and Buddhist ethics, filial piety means respect for one’s ancestors, parents, and elders, and the emperor represents this.

Two animals are also drawn on each goblet. One goblet has a lion or tiger on it that represents protectiveness and strength. The other has a monkey on it that represents intelligence and cleverness. 

14. Fire

Virginie MoerenhoutCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Chinese Mythology, Fire is a symbol of nobility and might. One of the five major elements denotes the Chinese emperor’s intellectual brilliance. Fire also represents the summer solstice. 

15. Axe Head

Axe Head.
Axe Head, 2nd millennium BC
Louvre Museum, CC BY-SA 2.0 FR, via Wikimedia Commons

In Chinese Mythology, the Axe head depicts the Chinese emperor’s power to act decisively. It also stands for the emperor’s courage and resolution and his capability to implement justice. 


These were some of the significant symbols representing the noble and powerful. Many of these symbols have been taken from Chinese mythology, where symbols of imperial authority have been used for centuries by emperors.

Which of these symbols were you already aware of? Let us know in the comments section below!