10 Meaningful Symbols for Family – Using Art to Honor Your Family

We all need that means to archive emotions, special events, important people or achievements that we can sustain through different generations of our family.

Family symbols present an opportunity to keep track of unique experiences in a way that instills pride and honor that surpasses the generational gap. This fosters cohesion in the family unit while making it easy for members to appreciate their roles and identify with the family.


Family Symbol Ideas to Honor Your Family

These symbols come in different forms because they are motivated by diverse circumstances. They are all about expressing our love and honoring relationships.

We have compiled a list of meaningful symbols for family that can promote the family name with pride. Once you find the symbolic meaning, you will be better placed to find a way to distinguish your family.

1. Wolves

Wolves are social animals that live and move in close-knit packs. They hunt as a team and protect each other. An unspoken bond is built from this close interaction that can’t be broken easily. It is a meaningful family tattoo to have if you want to display the importance of family in your life.

Wolves As Symbols of Courage and Bravery
A Howling Wolf by Anne Mathiasz

Wolves are often also seen as symbols of courage and bravery. I think this fits very well with the deeper meanings one may associate with symbols for family.

2. Bears

The bear is often used as a symbol of family protection. They feature prominently in Native American mythology, often with magical powers referred to in religious ceremonies. Bears will keep fighting even with severe injuries; to the extent that they are believed to be capable of healing their wounds. They symbolize strength and wisdom in a calm and composed manner.

Bears, Native American Symbols of Resilience, Strength and Perseverance
Bears, Native American Symbols of Strength by Pexels

Their calm nature offers reassurance and comfort to those seeking the pleasure of company, which family is all about.

3. The Infinity Sign

infinity sign on hand

The infinity sign can represent the never-ending love between family members. Being a line that never ends, it can also symbolize the continuity of the family tree and rebirth from one generation to the next. It symbolizes unbreakable family ties and has been metaphorically associated with selfless eternal love, unity and harmony.

4. The Circle

It is another common symbol of infinity, continuity and timelessness. In a family setting, it is also used to represent completeness, togetherness and integrity. It is a sacred symbol in many cultures and is a universally acknowledged representation of divine symmetry.

Because the beginning meets the end, nothing is lost in between, which makes it a symbol of wholesomeness.

Many family symbols are based on the circle with added features like a family quote, or anything the family members feel gives the print or tattoo meaning.

5. The Celtic Trinity Knot or Triquetra

It consists of interweaving hearts that have no visible beginning or end. Each heart represents a different item; they may represent the mother, father and children. The continuous lines symbolize the borderless love shared between each family member. The family unit is indestructible because it is self-sustaining.

Triquetra, the Celtic Trinity Knot by Novart on Creative Fabrica

Visit our detailed and popular article on Triquetra, The Celtic Trinity Knot

6. The Dara Knot

These are intertwined lines that don’t have a beginning or an end. They represent the extensive root system of the sacred oak tree, which holds up its extensive body. It allows the oak tree to tower above whole communities, sheltering them from extreme weather and bringing them together.

The Celtic Dara Knot Design in Dark Blue and White, One of the Prominent Symbols of Destiny
The Celtic Dara Knot by Yulia Buchatskaya on Shutterstock

It is a Celtic symbol for strength that goes beyond the exterior façade to inner strength and fortitude. It means the family has the fortitude to persevere through hard times, storms and attacks from exterior forces. The age of the oak tree also represents the family’s heritage.

There is an element of endurance through tough times, making the symbol especially important when the family goes through hard times.

7. A Family Crest

These are passed down from generation to generation and carry the family’s history with them. The design captures family achievements and celebrates milestones so the younger generation can take pride in their family heritage.


Members not there for the events can identify with their kin through family tattoos or banners bearing their unique designs.

A family crest can be designed from common interests, hobbies, professions or any other values the family shares. Some use basic variables like the number of siblings, birth dates and anniversaries. The idea is to be unique and relevant.

8. The Family Tree

Family Tree

The family tree can be captured in many ways that are unique to your particular family. The trunk can be named after the grandparents or given the family name as the names of the rest of the family members are added to the tree branches.

9. The Anchor

The Anchor

A typical anchor is heavyset and is dropped in the water to prevent vessels from drifting away in currents. It is a meaningful family symbol because it represents family members’ role in keeping each other in check.

Family is there for you when things don’t seem to be going as planned. The family’s urge to be there for a loved one without taking credit for it is also illustrated by how the anchor works underwater to secure the boat.

Our loved ones keep us grounded through turbulent times without necessarily expecting recognition.

10. Russian Dolls

Russian Dolls

These dolls symbolize family through how they fit inside each other, exhibiting accommodation of each other’s unique personalities and being part of the same fabric at the same time. It shows how family members shield each other and how accepting each other with unique personalities is easy. We need each other to complete the whole.

Using Family Symbols to Honor Your Family

Once you establish your ideal family symbol, there are several ways to exhibit that you put your family first. For example, many have resorted to body art like family tree tattoos, and your tattoo artist probably spends a large portion of their day actualizing simple family tattoo designs that hold deep meaning to your loved one.

You can also design a family crest with the symbol or include it on clothing and other fabrics.

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