August 18, 2019

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Military Headstone Symbols

Probably as far off as I’ll get from a Nature related topic but certain events in life seem to have brought me here. Recently a family member was interred in Saratoga National Cemetery and the symbols on each headstone peaked my curiosity in what their meaning was. The Latin Cross and Star of David were simple to interpret but the others left me wondering. For lack of a better and faster source to find this information I decided to just do a simple post in case any one else in the world was just as curious.

Christian
(Latin Cross)Christian Cross
 Judaism
(Star of David)
HEBREW (Star of David)
 BuddhistBUDDHIST (Wheel of Righteousness)
 Presbyterian CrossPRESBYTERIAN CROSS
 Russian Orthodox CrossRUSSIAN ORTHODOX CROSS
 Lutheran CrossLUTHERAN CROSS
 Episcopal CrossEPISCOPAL CROSS
 Unitarian
(Flaming Chalice)
UNITARIAN CHURCH/UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST ASSOCIATION
 United MethodistUNITED METHODIST CHURCH
 Aaronic Order ChurchAARONIC ORDER CHURCH
 Mormon
(Angel Moroni)MORMON (Angel Moroni)
 Native American Church
Of North AmericaNATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA
 Serbian OrthodoxSERBIAN ORTHODOX
 Greek CrossGREEK CROSS
 Bahai
(9 Pointed Star)BAHAI (9 Pointed Star)
 AtheistATHEIST
 Muslim
(Crescent and Star)MUSLIM (Crescent and Star)
 HinduHINDU
 Konko-Kyo FaithKONKO-KYO FAITH
 Community of ChristCOMMUNITY OF CHRIST
 Sufism ReorientedSUFISM REORIENTED
 Tenrikyo ChurchTENRIKYO CHURCH
 Seicho-no-ieSEICHO-NO-IE
 The Church of World
MessianityCHURCH OF WORLD MESSIANITY (Izunome)
 United Church of Religious
ScienceUNITED CHURCH OF RELIGIOUS SCIENCE
 Christian Reformed ChurchCHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
United Moravian Church UNITED MORAVIAN CHURCH
 EckankarECKANKAR
 Christian ChurchCHRISTIAN CHURCH
 Christian & Missionary AllianceCHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE
United Church of Christ UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
 Humanist Emblem of SpiritHUMANIST EMBLEM OF SPIRIT
 Presbyterian Church (USA)PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA)
 Izumo Taishakyo Mission
Of HawaiiIZUMO TAISHAKYO MISSION OF HAWAII
 Soka Gakkai International
(USA)SOKA GAKKAI INTERNATIONAL - USA
 Sikh (Khanda)SIKH (KHANDA)
 Wicca (Pentacle)WICCA
 Lutheran Church of Missouri
SynodLutheran Church Missouri Synod
 New ApostolicNew Apostolic Church
 Seventh Day Adventist ChurchSeventh Day Adventist Church

 

 Celtic CrossCeltic Cross
 Armenian CrossArmenian Cross
 FaroharFarohar
 Messianic JewishMessianic Jewish
 Kohen HandsKohen Hands
 Catholic Celtic CrossCatholic Celtic Cross
 First Church of Christ. Scientist
(Cross & Crown)The First Church of Christ, Scientist (Cross and Crown)
 Medicine WheelMedicine Wheel
 InfinityInfinity
 Luther RoseLuther Rose
 Landing EagleLanding Eagle
Four Directions Four Directions
Church of Nazarene Church of Nazarene
 Hammer of ThorHammer of Thor
 Unification ChurchUnification Church
 Sandhill CraneSandhill Crane
 Church of GodChurch of God
 PomegranatePomegranate
 MessianicMessianic

You will find that most symbols are of the deceased’s  practiced religion. Several symbols however are representative of a personal statement. The Landing Eagle for example represents Freedom. The Sandhill Crane is a symbol of peace or as being one with land, water and sky. To Christians the Pomegranate represents life and eternal life.

All symbols for military headstones must be approved by the Veterans Administration for use.

 
 The symbols used on this page were obtained from the VA website.

Christian Cross

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing all of these different symbols for the military. My grandfather is trying to figure out what he wants on his headstone, and I think it would be nice if he had something to symbolize his time in the military. I’ll be sure to send this to him, and see what he thinks.

    • MyNature Apps MyNature Apps says

      I’m so glad you found that of interest. Please make sure to thank your Grandfather for me for his service!

    • Once your grandfather eventually does pass, assuming he has a DD-214 (record of discharge) that’s states he was honorably discharged, you can order a marker for free at your local veterans service office. Just make sure you have the next of kin with you, they will need to sign for it.

  2. I was at the Idaho Va cemetery today (memorial day) saw a few of the landing eagles and had to look it up and interestingly, without walking the whole thing but quite a bit of it, those were all at the spreading hill.

  3. My grandfather after serving in WWI and II, my uncle after dying in WWII, another coming back from WWII, another serving in Pearl Harbor, all of which are Catholic. they are buried in J/B, selecting inscriptions for their headstones, there are no Catholic crucifix, I found that so hard to believe. Yes, Christian, celtic cross (we’re not Irish).,but no catholic crucifix. For the future I pray this will change. Christian is great BUT Catholic’s we love our symbol of the crucifix.

    • If it’s that important to you, there is a procedure to get it authorized. Should be easy, once the Church decides on a symbol. Remember, it has to be carved in stone. Literally.

    • A crucifix is a cross displayed with Christ hanging on it. There is a cross which symbolizes the Catholic faith available.

  4. Avatar Susan Parkhurst says

    Thank you for taking the time to share this information. My mother, a WWII Navy veteran, passed away at 93 in June, and my father, an Army veteran of WWII, died 3 years ago. My 7 siblings and I had their remains interred at a grave site in Washington State in July. We’re looking into what kinds of headstones the VA offers for veterans. I just got online to look up the meaning of the Landing Eagle symbol; I was pretty sure it represented Freedom, and you confirmed it. My parents were both veterans (Dad, Army; Mom, Navy) of World War II. My Mom was a Christian, and I’m sure she would look a Christian cross on her headstone; my dad was pretty much an atheist, although maybe more of an agnostic near the end. ; ) I’m hoping my 7 siblings will agree the Landing Eagle would be a fitting addition to their headstone.

    BTW, your app looks quite interesting and useful. : )

  5. Thanks for putting this together. My Dad was not a believer in much so I found your description of “Landing Eagle” to be a perfect choice.

  6. Avatar Robert M Young says

    One that is not here is “shepherd and Flag.” It appears to be a German shepherd dog (head sillouette and behind him, an American Flag.)

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