24 photo(s) Updated on: 06 Mar 2016
  • Improved Order of Red Men
  • Grange: The sheaf is flanked by the letters "P" and "H' which stand for "Patrons of Husbandry"
  • International Association of Car Workers (Railroad)
  • Farewell to earthly existence. Also unity. Often used as a Masonic and I.O.O.F. symbol.
  • Hand Pointing Up: Showing the way to heaven.
  • Gates may mean the passage from one realm to the next or death, departure from life; entrance to heaven.
  • Cross and Crown symbolizes both victory and Christianity. This symbol also denotes a member of the York Rite Masons.
  • GAR - Grand Army of the Republic a fraternal organization of men who fought and were honorably discharged from the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • Cross with Ivy - the cross represents Christianity and the Ivy denotes friendship.
  • Lambs are often seen on children's gravestones. A lamb represents innocence.
  • Rose symbolizes beauty.
  • A sheaf of wheat represents harvest, usually found on older peoples' gravestones.
  • The willow usually represents sadness or mourning. In the Native American culture a willow represents an Iroquois grave. The urn and willow can mean many different things.
  • Floral wreath means victory in death.
  • United Methodist Church
  • Winged Face: A symbol of the soul in flight (normally to Heaven); at times an effigy of the deceased soul.
  • Order of the Eastern Star - See for more information about the organization and its history.
  • Modern Woodmen of America. This was the original name for the Woodmen of the World organization.
  • The Square and Compass is the single most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry. Both the square and compasses are architect's tool
  • The Doubleheaded Eagle signifies a 32nd degree Mason or Freemason. Note the "32" centered in the triangle over the two heads.
  • Ships are generally used to mark a grave of one who led a seafaring life.
  • The Anchor signifies hope or eternal life. It is often on sailors' graves. Anchors are also a Masonic symbol for well-grounded hope, therefore they are often found on Masons' graves as well.
  • Signifies membership in the American Legion.

Visit the Waterhouse Symbolism Newsletter online for a growing library of articles/images on the meaning of symbols used in our cemeteries and elsewhere.

Dedicated to the Preservation of Maine's Neglected Cemeteries since 1968.
Maine Old Cemetery Association, PO Box 641, Augusta, ME 04332-0641
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