A Collection of Atheist Symbols May 20, 2008

A Collection of Atheist Symbols

Here’s a giant collection of atheist symbols!

I’m not sure where it’s from… (click for larger image)


Some are already in use (88, 89).

Some I’ve never seen before (57, 100).

Some are just plain dumb (94, 70).

Some could use further explanation (54, 69, 96).

Some crack me up (19, 28).

The Scarlet A is strangely absent. (Or this picture is relatively old…)

(via Reddit)

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • we should use 59 instead of this ugly scarlet A

  • Nick

    I recognize some of these from when PZ Myers asked people to brainstorm for potential logos.


  • Euthyphro

    This is a nice little collection going here, but there are some discrepancies. Number 42 the Pansy is a symbol for freethought, and there is no disbelief clause for freethinking. There have even been religious freethinkers.

    Also what are the solo Greek characters about. I get the Alpha since the word comes from the Greek, but why Pi, Sigma, Phi and O-mega?

    Nos Libri Sunt!

  • Brian E

    No boobies?

  • I recognize a lot of these from this thread on the Internet Infidels forum.

    Euthyphro- I use the Greek letter Phi as my personal symbol, because it is simple, easy to draw, easily reproducible in any word processor or design software, easily found as jewelry or other ‘talismans,’ has a similar appearance to the symbol for the ‘null set’, is the recognized symbol for philosophy, and also is the recognized symbol for the Golden Mean (also represented in symbol #23) which is a fundamental mathematical concept that informs physics, biology, and aesthetics. In short, it touches on everything I hold dear.

    Hemant- you pointed out #94 as “dumb.” It’s currently used as the symbol for the North Texas Church of Freethought, which you can read about here. Could you elaborate on why you don’t care for this symbol?



  • you’re right, number 94 (lightning) might not be the smartest emblema:

    It can represent the god Thur.
    At least over here in Scandinavia.

  • I posted my proposed symbol on my blog. Not the best photo shopping but you get the idea.


  • You’re right;
    number 94 (lightning) might not be the smartest emblema:

    It can represent the god Thur.
    At least over here in Scandinavia.

  • 117 is my favourite just for simplicity but there is a place in my heart for number 5 and the Star Trek one (44).

  • I like 119 because of the simplicity and also the subtlety in that the natural sign signifies some “extra” being removed. Of course, I’m from a musical family.

  • Eric

    I didn’t see this one on the list either, and that’s one of my favorites. I even had it tattooed on my back (with slight modification).

  • Uh, regarding 16, 77, and 107…

    Does anyone else find the irony of using an irrational number to symbolize rationality amusing?

  • Being a musician I like number 119, the natural sign. I see 71 is similar. Does that mean I have to take my sharps and flats on faith?

  • Michael

    This is a pretty old picture. It looks like a collections of atheist symbols currently in use, some new ideas of symbols, and then some random typing. I personally like #80.

  • Does that mean I have to take my sharps and flats on faith?

    Yes, if the score editor failed to reprint the key signature on the current page…

  • Hey, #42 was on my graduation cake this weekend! Sneaking some heathen symbols around the Baptist aunts and uncles…

    Also, interesting how it’s numbered on there… (Pansies: Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?)

    — Miz L.

  • Mriana

    I had no idea that Vulcan symbol was an atheist symbol. It’s here and there on my website. 😆 Guess I was using it even before I knew what it really was. And here all this time I thought it was a Star Trek symbol for Vulcan. 🙂

  • mikespeir

    Dang! We sure are a negative lot, aren’t we?

  • I like this version of the FSM better, though I couldn’t find an uncropped version just now.

    Clicky–> FSM

  • OK, this kicks ass.

    Clicky–> Stained Glass FSM

  • Hey! #30 is the Blue Oyster Cult symbol! Also the symbol of the god Kronos.

  • Polly

    What’s with all the science and math related symbols. Atheism is not science.
    You know it might help our image a little more if we weren’t holding ourselves out to the world as the Revenge of the Nerds. 🙂

  • J Myers

    Hemant, #69 is obviously an invisible dragon i the garage–haven’t you ever seen one before? I also like the Jesus in the ghostbuster logo (#28).

    Gene, you like 59 better than the scarlet A? I like the scarlet A well enough; simple. elegant… and baby-blood red. I don’t care much for #59, myself.

    Euthyphro, nice handle! Wish I thought of it…

  • J Myers

    #54 looks like the “new document” icon in MS Word (symbolic of a “blank slate” perhaps?).

    Some explanation of (and attribution for) #96 can be found here. (Others are discussed there, as well).

    EDIT: eh… that should be “dragon in the garage” in my last comment….

  • what’s with the pansy?

  • I’m also wondering why the atheists should lay claim to alpha, phi, sigma, etc? I mean alpha is used in statistics, as is sigma, and phi is, among other things, used in multidimensional calculus. I guess Hemant would know all that anyway =)

  • J Myers

    writer dd,

    If you are asking why the pansy appears in a collection of atheist symbols, Ethyphro answered above (in summary: it shouldn’t).

    If you are asking why the pansy is used as a symbol for freethought, from Wikipedia:

    “The pansy is the long-established and enduring symbol of freethought; its usage inaugurated in the literature of the American Secular Union in the late 1800s. The reasoning behind the pansy being the symbol of freethought lies in both the flower’s name and appearance. The pansy derives its name from the French word pensée, which means “thought”; it was so named because the flower resembles a human face, and in the month of August it nods forward as if deep in thought.”

  • I absolutely *love* the Happy Human (#89) (I even named my blog after it!). It expresses quite a bit, in my opinion. To me, it symbolizes mere humanity – nothing more and nothing less. It’s a little lopsided – imperfect and flawed. But the hands are raised, expressing the pure joy that can come from optimistic rational thought.

  • Is 92 a shocked PBS viewer?

    I’m no fan of the AA symbol, but it is still a lot better than most of those.

    11 looks like a psychotic cartoon character’s eyeball.

    I guess if I had to choose 84 is OK.

  • I like 119. It took me a while to get the “natural” = natural connection. (Sometimes the obvious stuff turns me into a drooling idiot.) I would also like to use the musical symbol # sometime. We’re sharp people. 😛

  • Loren Petrich

    I’m the one who created that big collection of proposed atheist symbols; I worked from various collections of proposed atheist symbols, like PZ’s, and various suggestions proposed in that IIDB thread.

    I gave them numbers so that people could list the ones that they like and those they dislike; feel free to do so here.

    I did that well before the creators of the OUT campaign had gotten started with it, their scarlet A was still in the future when I composed that graphic.

  • Karen

    “The pansy is the long-established and enduring symbol of freethought; its usage inaugurated in the literature of the American Secular Union in the late 1800s. The reasoning behind the pansy being the symbol of freethought lies in both the flower’s name and appearance. The pansy derives its name from the French word pensée, which means “thought”; it was so named because the flower resembles a human face, and in the month of August it nods forward as if deep in thought.”

    Nice! I like that. And I like pansies, they’ve been rather special to me since I was a kid because my mother always insisted on having them in our yard.

  • Polly

    Thanks to Loren Petrich.

    #4, #18, #74 and #120 are my choice because they are specific to atheism.

    I don’t like letters: anglophone-centric, not all languages have the letter “A” and “atheist” doesn’t begin with “A” in many other languages.

    Too many seem like math symbols.

    What’s with the pentagram?!? It’s bad enough some xians think we worship Satan…

    4) The human ones tend to make me think of humanism, not atheism per se.

    #119 is not necessarily neutral, it means “not sharp” or “not flat”

    Too xian specific. 19, 63, & 78

    Question marks are for agnostics. It makes us look uncertain.

    #97 & #88 look like NASA symbols. I live near JPL, this won’t do.

    #79 looks like apostrophes mating.

  • Loren – are there descriptions or explanations to go along with these? Some of them are cool looking, but the symbolism is lost on me. If I knew the intent behind the designs it would help in choosing one.

  • I kind-of like 2. But then again, I like math symbols.

  • pansies4me

    Notice my name?

    I also have a pansy ring that I wear sometimes. I got the idea from Annie Laurie Gaylor at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

    Who can object to flowers?

  • Jose Josefina

    Most of these are pretty good, but I made my own and I think it demonstrates atheism pretty well, although I borrowed a few ideas. I’m a retard with computers, so I’ll just describe it. It starts with a thick circle,
    ( O ) then a line goes through the middle vertically so that the ends of the line stick out a little bit from the circle ( I ), then coming from where the line and the circle meet are two lines that then intersect the cirlce again. They make an “A” without the line across the middle, an upsidedown “V”.

  • P

    Hmmmm… the website is called Friendly Atheist, yet #5 is anything but friendly. Thanks for proving the hypocrisy.

  • Teknon

    Atheists don’t believe in God? God definitely doesn’t believe in atheists!
    It is appointed unto man to die once – after this comes the judgement!

  • somepunk

    #48 is a chaos star , IE its the star of baal its actualy a pritty spirtual symbol and if you look at vatican square from a sky view , its in the shape of a chaos star . with the pope speaking from the center.

  • Anyone know the origin of number 31, I would love to use that on my own site.

  • Whats Number 93? its been buggin me for a WHILE now.

  • Jamil Haddad

    Number 93 is is called a : “Pentagram” it is used to represent satanism.

  • Henry

    Actually, an Inverted pentagram is a symbol of satanism, the Pentagram itself has been used by everything from early Christianity to neo-paganism.

    In other words, not a very good atheist symbol.

  • Jenn

    Henry, you are right, but just to note #93 is an inverted pentagram. If it were upright a single point would be pointing north. Yes either way, not only would you have an inapproprate symbol, but a taken one.

  • jordan

    i personally like 79

  • cj

    These are funny. My favorites have to be 5, 25, and 28. Number 25 would make a great tattoo.

  • Paul

    I like the dinosaur eating the fish,,,, but I don’t see it here

  • internet brower

    just wondering… why the Atheist have symbols if they are non-believers of any spiritual beliefs.

  • Siamang

    Symbols aren’t just for beliefs. There are symbols for lots of things.

    Superman has a symbol just for his awesomeness.

  • ian

    what is the symbolism behind #47?

  • dougie

    117 is a wiccan symbol for the sun (will and success)

  • mcxxx

    what does #27 represent?

  • Aaron

    Numbers? In the beginning there was void, nothing, One big fat nothing, zero “0”
    Atheistic universe, no god, no you, no me.

    Just between you and me I was born a none believer, didn’t even believe in santa, spelling “satan” at the age of one or two, O.K maybe three when I had a deep understanding of the universe,I beleived in santa, satan, red guy in a red suit……now Ive made a complete circle and I’m a born again Atheist. Zero “0”

    Just passing through, Bye bye from Drunken Atheist.

  • Aaron

    Sorry if Ive killed the Blog above,I was Drunk. “ha ha ha” It seemed funny and worthwhile saying at the Time. Now that I look back on it. What dribble. Its true and I admit I shouldn’t attack other peoples beliefs, But I have my own personal reasons for that and Ill try to refrain myself from doing it anymore in the future and Its true, If you show absolute disrespect for someone else’s view point, Then why should they respect yours. In saying that, Dido for christians or any other faith too. Any way…

    Oh Boy, Doesn’t get any better either and No I’m still intoxicated or on drugs, Although I did do some in Aussie. “Yep” anyway, I know this is off the main subject above, But can anyone please tell if Jedi’s, yes Jedi’s are Atheist or christians? I’m a bit confused as to who they are, I know I don’t believe in god, angle’s, heaven, jesus or any of the rest. So I guess that makes an Atheist. Not too sure if others interpret “Life Force” as god or not. I believe their is a personal life force with in all of us with out any doubt and even though personally I don’t quiet believe in life after death, I have to admit, I believe death is a mystery? Which could interpret as leaning to a more Agnostic. No one really knows what happens at the point of death. Just know I have a absolute disbelief in god, bible…. Be nice to think theirs more without hindering education, science, history, politics….. I didn’t realize religious people where threatened Atheists than any other group. Have had my own personal experiences with religious people and thats just a another story. Ive made an effort not to ridicule the religious today and I’ll try tomorrow.

    Happy to any comment on this “Thanks”

    Bye bye from Drunken Atheist.

  • Ok I cant take it, Somebody PLEASE explain # 52 to me, I love it but I cant see the relevance at all.

  • I’m curious to know what the A with the infinity between it represents…

  • scott

    most of the stuff are demonic symbols nice collection but sadly some are wrong

  • I have one that is not posted here!!! Is in my blog page under my quote of the day 🙂


  • syzygyfy

    @j myers I love what you said about the pansy! very cool!

    to the person who asked about #27…..it looks to me like ‘anti-heavenward’ maybe?

    I love #62 ….a happy humanist DNA strain. I don’t like the original happy human…it looks like it’s praising god. LOL but DNA with a face on it I can deal with it because it wouldn’t look right with the arms down right?
    And I love Pi! Is the perfect symbol to me.
    “Pi can not be equated to any number. It represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to it’s diameter. There is no such thing as a “perfect” circle. Space/time itself is always curved. Therefor Pi represents an imaginary “perfect” condition that (in known theory at least) cannot actually exist. No matter how exact your measurement of a circle is the closest we have ever come empirically is Pi. The number value is more of a convenience than actual. This condition exists regardless of the tools used to measure,calculate, or label. So whatever base you use, it will be at least equally inadequate to state the actual. Hence the use of the symbol Pi rather than just replace it with some agreed upon calculation. There is no agreed upon calculation. The calculation itself is always flawed regardless of how far it is taken.” (from a post at Virtuescience.com) I think if you look at the previous paragraph, metaphorically, in terms of the ratio of each unique being in the human condition to the circumference of limitless space….each being might find that he himself is the very center…and the calculation is very different for the being standing right next to them, because that’s a completely different angle from which the calculation is being made. There is no imaginary perfect condition/heaven and there is no perfect agreed upon calculation/god, as religions claim. The calculation/God is more convenient than actual. The thought of an agreed upon calculation creates the imaginary perfect condition of a circle. Ha! That’s hard to explain…maybe someone will get it :-/ LOL
    And Pi kind of looks like an A….a modest truthful pragmatic reasoning A that isn’t arrogantly aiming skyward as if there’s something there to attain, like the red A. And I live in alabama..the only statement the red A makes for me is that I might religiously pray for my team to win :-p

  • syzygyfy

    ha! another thought about the pi symbol. It is an A! except without the ‘trinity’ symbol sitting on top of it 😉 food for thought?

  • i have 27 on my arm.


    WHAT IS 84 AND 49?

  • Davi Sidarta

    does anybody know the meaning of 52? just loved it, think im going to tatoo

  • Mark Rosengarten

    I created a brand new symbol this evening and put it up on Zazzle, I call it “Peace through Science”.

  • Hurson1

    solar eclipse

  • celt

    27 is a symbol of the resurrection

  • celt

    62 is human sacrifices to mayan sun god

  • celt


  • celt

    117 is a proofreader’s symbol. Sentence needs period inserted.

  • celt

    Celtic wheel design

  • celt

    79 is an ancient boomerang

  • celt

    Papal insignia representing wisdom

  • celt

    That’s right! Out of chaos came order to the ends of the earth.

  • celt

    5 is transgender symbol for cutting off offending penis.

  • celt

    4 is an ancient secret symbol for gay baths

  • Leigh Archie

    Number 69 symbolizes Carl Sagan’s “invisble dragon in the garage”. 

  • Thorn_heart33

    does anyone know what 27 means? i’ve been checking on resurrection but i never found any symbols of resurrection that look even remotely to that one… i’m asking ’cause i got this key chain recently it’s the same as 27 except the A part is at the bottom part and the long line is at the top… i’ve been wondering what it means so i hope someone can help 

  • Billyblanks2415

    what is symbol 48 and wat does it mean i need a new tatoo

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