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4 Headstone Symbols & What They Mean

If you are planning for a loved one’s burial or preplanning arrangements for yourself, choose lettering and designs for a headstone that represent the deceased’s character and beliefs. A unique monument will honor their life for many years. Here are some common symbols to consider putting on a memorial.

Understanding Headstone Symbolism

1. Flags

Those who served in the military often have an American flag etched on their headstone to denote their time fighting for the country. Also, some individuals display flags of their home states or countries. For example, people who emigrated to the U.S. may want to pay homage to their home country by featuring its flag on their memorial.

2. Doves

Doves are symbols of peace and harmony. Many graves are adorned with doves in flight or carrying an olive branch, a sign of hope.

3. Angels

If you walk through a cemetery, you’ll likely spot many statue angels perched on headstones or etched in monuments. These flying messengers of God are often thought of as guardians for the living and provide comfort to loved ones as they visit the grave.

4. Books

Individuals who loved reading or cherished their time in academia as students or scholars may have a book etched on their tombstone. Books are also commonly used by people who want to share their love of the Bible.