The big H

I’m thinking about symbols and need some ideas. The question is fairly simple.

There are a number of extremely complete iconic symbols representing religions out there.

  • The cross = Christianity…
  • with the crucifix signifying something primarily Catholic.
  • The Star of David = Judaism.
  • The pentagram = Wicca/neo-paganism.
  • Etc.

So, what symbol is the equivalent for humanism?

I have some ideas of my own, but I want to hear what others think, as well. (The image shown here is not what I’m after, although several variations on it seem to be official logos for various humanist organizations around the world, like the International Humanist and Ethical Union.)

Thanks for your help.



33 thoughts on “The big H

  1. “Please don’t shoot me”
    I kind of figured that, even if it is appropriate [just reading about mass graves on Cyprus].
    Sorry I don’t anything more constructive to offer. My logo ideas are all self oriented right now, what with my ‘cult’ and all.

  2. Humanist
    I like the idea of a human silhouette, but perhaps something with their hands held outward, rather than upward, signifying help, cooperation, and unification.
    Completely off topic–is that icon of yours from “The Matrix Online”? I was totally thinking of it as such. 😉

  3. variations based on images such as da Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’ or Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ first came to mind. Then I thought about a circular group of standing people(drawn as stick figures?) with those on the edge opening their arms to welcome others as they approached. (trying to avoid the “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” vibe)

  4. Re: "Please don't shoot me"
    I’d like it to involve spaceships one day, but that’s a more general belief about the need for humans to become a space faring race. And I’m a firm believer in not drinking ones own Kool-Aid. [Only the cognoscenti know it was Flavorade]

  5. It’s certainly part of it, but by no means all. Stephen Hawking might have a different opinion.
    The more I think about it, the more I like a simple circle. Unfortunately, it’s not a terribly obvious symbol. :-/

  6. Here’s another idea you most will likely cringe at. There’s a commercial around now…I forget what it’s for…but it uses an Hu in a box, like it’s part of the Table of Elements. That could work.

  7. The Happy Human
    The symbol you show is a crude version of the Happy Human, the winning design in a 1960s competition to find a logo for the British Humanist Association. One arm is stretched higher than the other – symbolic of aspiration and achievement. The BHA retains the copyright but allows free use by genuine humanist organisations worldwide. The original is to be seen at along with the version the BHA protects for its own use. Other versions have been adapted by different humanist organisations round the world.

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