Symbols and Insignia

  • Symbols_1The symbols and insignia of Sigma Kappa have great meaning which is revealed during the ceremony of Initiation. They demonstrate our heritage and values and are significant because of what Sigma Kappas believe. Members of Sigma Kappa are obligated to uphold our high standards and ideals, remembering that Sigma Kappas all over the country are bound by the same tenets.


    Sigma Kappa’s colors, lavender and maroon, were officially adopted in June 1891. The colors had been approved in 1885, but were not noted in Sigma Kappa minutes until then. With regard to the meaning of Sigma Kappa’s colors, a note in the minutes of 1904 speaks of a committee that was appointed to “write down the true significance” of Sigma Kappa’s colors, which is revealed in the ceremony of Initiation.


    Violets were loved by Sigma Kappas from the very beginning.  The delicate flowers grew wild along the banks of the Messalonskee River where the founders sat and dreamed of Sigma Kappa. In June 1892, the violet was adopted as our official flower.  In 2008, the 83rd national convention clarified that the official flower was the wild purple violet, as distinguished from the African or other types of violet, which the founders had enjoyed during their walks in Maine.


    The dove was accepted as an official symbol of Sigma Kappa at the 1984 convention and its significance is revealed in the ceremony of Initiation. The heart was adopted at the 1988 convention because of the close connection to our open motto.


    The Sigma Kappa coat-of-arms reflects the familiar symbols of the sorority - the dove, the violet, the Greek letters, and maroon and lavender. Adopted in 1911, the coat-of-arms consists of a maroon shield with a diagonal bar of gold, bearing five lavender stars; the lower portion a coiled serpent. Above is a wreath of alternate maroon and gold, surmounted by a dove in silver, with outspread wings, all beneath an arch of gold rays. Below is a scroll of silver, bearing in black the open motto and the date 1874. The significance of the coat-of-arms is revealed only during the ceremony of Initiation.


    More Sigma Kappa Facts

    • Founded:  1874, at Colby College, Waterville, Maine
    • Open Motto:  One Heart, One Way
    • Colors:  Maroon and Lavender
    • Jewel:  Pearl
    • Symbols:  Dove and Heart
    • Flower:  Wild Purple Violet
    • Collegiate Chapters:  more than 110 in 36 states
    • Alumnae Chapters:  more than 120 in 40 states
    • Members:  more than 152,000 women worldwide
    • Philanthropies:  Gerontology (the study of aging), with a focus on Alzheimer's disease research and programs directed at improving the lives of older citizens; Inherit the Earth; Maine Seacoast Mission.
    • Scholarships:  The Sigma Kappa Foundation provides scholarship to collegiate and alumnae members each year, including scholarships for leadership, continuing education, and gerontology.