Symbols of humility assist us in connecting to others and being aware of weaknesses. An awareness brings about positive change. Having humility results in a new compassion and understanding of others’ weaknesses so that we can make up for them rather than point them out.

Symbols of Humility

10 Humility Symbols in Different Cultures

1. Cross

The cross is a symbol of sacrifice and humility in Christianity. It represents what Christ gave up for humanity. For Christians, it’s difficult to think of Christ’s sacrifice without having a strong sense of humility. They believe he died for them specifically, which brings an unmatched sense of humbleness.

2. Tomb

The empty tomb is another symbol of humility brought on by Christ. It signifies Jesus rising again. Although he was the son of God that rose again, he had a humility that Christians admire and attempt to copy. He was not prideful nor arrogant, showing that position and authority do not come into play to prevent humility.

3. Washing Feet

Washing feet is a symbol of humility held in high regard. In the Christian faith, washing is a sign of service, humbleness, and empathy.

Taking great care to serve someone else is one of the greatest desires of heartfelt Christians. That is why foot-washing ceremonies take place to this day in Christian churches.

4. Staff

A shepherd’s staff represents humility. It is used to guide sheep and care for the flock.

But it is also the vocation of someone often considered lower class and with a job of little importance. The staff closely resembles a cane, which is another symbol of humility that one may think shows weakness, but rather it shows the wisdom to make wise decisions to account for weakness.

5. Dwennimmen

Dwennimmen is an African symbol of humility that originated in Ghana. The symbol depicts a ram’s horns that curve to touch, forming a circle. It represents balance, humbleness, and quiet strength that is not for show.

6. Bowing

Bowing is a universal symbol of humility that originates in Asia. Though a historical gesture, many Asian cultures practice bowing to elders, authority figures, and those whose homes one visits. The gesture is uncommon in Western cultures but is well-understood around the world.

7. Bamboo

Bamboo is a symbol of humility often taken for granted. It represents the ability to bend without breaking, is very sustainable, and has more uses than most other plants.

The phrase, “the higher you go, the deeper you bow,” is spoken about bamboo. The meaning is that the higher in a hierarchy or in health you are, the more grateful and humble you should be.

8. White Flag

The white flag represents surrender and humility. It takes humility and humbleness to bow out.

Those who are willing to surrender for the greater good are seen as those possessing great humility rather than cowardice. The courage to end violence, even if others may see you as weak to do so is a strong sign of humility and wisdom that few leaders possess.

9. Open Hands

Hands held in offering or askance represent humility. They also symbolize charity and humbleness. The hands must be facing up and near each other, or the meaning may change.

The origins of the symbol are in religion, with the peace offering and heave offering, both being sacrifices and gifts where one person does the work yet offers another benefit. In history, offerings were made to God, but after Christ, they were ritualistic offerings of brotherhood given to neighbors.

10. White

White is the color of humility. It represents purity and innocence, but also transparency that results in humility. With white, no sins or tarnishes are hidden, making it difficult to have unhealthy pride or arrogance.

Flowers That Symbolize Humility

  • Lotus – a flower that represents purity and enlightenment, known for rising from murky waters
  • Bluebell – the bell-shaped flower represents gratitude and humility, the quiet fortitude noticeable only to the observant

Animal Humility Symbols

  • Lamb – a symbol of humility with little ability to look after itself, the lamb represents compassion and kindness.
  • Donkey – a Biblical animal that represents humility and service

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