Nearly every organization and institution has symbols
which identify it and instill in its members a deeper understanding of
its ideals. Our Country has a Seal and a Flag, your College has a Seal
and each State has a Flag and a seal. Sigma Phi Epsilon's symbols
include its Badge, its Coat of Arms and its Flag. There are also
other various symbols of our Fraternity, some of which are described
The original badge designed by the founders had the "E"
added below the skull and cross- bones after the badges were made. On
subsequent badges the "E" was brought above the skull and
cross-bones to join the
This design, in a slightly smaller size and with twenty pearls
bordering the black heart, remains the official badge today.
At the 1973 Grand Chapter Conclave in Denver, Colorado, an
additional official badge was authorized. This badge is of the same
size and shape as the original founders badge and is bordered by a
band of gold. The 1973 Conclave also authorized that official badges
may be made with heavy-duty gold plate, "golklad," in
addition to white and yellow gold. The new founders - size badge was
designed by William A. MacDonough, Virginia Epsilon (Washington and
The Coat of Arms
Nearly all fraternities, even the smallest locals in the
smallest colleges, boast a coat of arms. A heritage from the old days
of feudalism and knighthood, it is an emblem which can become almost
as precious to the Sig Ep who has the right to wear it as his
heart-shaped badge. For a long time, however, Sigma Phi Epsilon
displayed a coat of arms which was not heraldically correct. The
original design was adopted in 1908 at the Chicago Conclave. Frederick
M. Cutler, Massachusetts Alpha (U. of Massachusetts), called attention
to the old emblem's inaccuracies. In 1933, Mark D. Wilkins, then a
Field Secretary for the Fra-ternity, consulted Arthur E. DuBois, in
charge of the heraldic work for the United States Government, and the
new and revised coat of arms was subsequently accepted.
The badge and coat of arms
are the official insignia of the Fraternity; their esoteric meaning is
contained in the Ritual of the Fraternity. They shall be worn by the
initiated member of the Fraternity, his fiancee, wife, sister, mother,
The Fraternity flag has a
background of purple with ared bar extending diagonally from the upper
left corner to the lower right corner, this bar fimbriated by a narrow
band of gold from the purple background. In the center of the flag,
mounted upon a red bar, appears a gold star of five points.
The 1955 Conclave
authorized an alternative form for the official flag. In this form the
are placed in the upper right corner of the regulation flag while the
Greek letter A, B, or whatever the chapter designation is placed in
the lower left corner. The purpose is for plainer identification of
the flag when it is used for display.
The flag with letters is
commonly called the "display flag" and the plain flag the
"ritual flag" Every chapter should have a display flag and a
The Pledge Badge
The pledge badge is a gold rectangular shield of equal sides.
Along the diagonal of the rectangle appears in gold the greek word
"eggua," above this a crown and below a five pointed star,
also in gold. The background is red enamel. This badge is used by
chapters not implementing the Balanced Man Project.
The Balanced Man Symbol and Pin
Concurrent with the Fraternity's
development of a strategic plan in 1989, the Balanced Man symbol
was created as an expression of the
values of our Greek Letter Heritage. This pin is presented
to all New Member in Balanced Man Program chapters during the Sigma
rite of passage. The pin is worn on the lapel of a suit of
sports jacket and can be worn on collard shirts.
The Alumni Recognition Button
This "Ducal Crown" (from the coat of arms) is worn as a
lapel pin. In recent years this has been recognized as the alumni pin
and chapters present them to graduating seniors at the annual senior
The fraternity colors are purple and red. The
flowers are the Violet and the Dark Red Rose.
The fraternity whistle, as adopted at the 1912 Conclave, is an
adaptation of the first two lines of "The Letter Song" (Nadina),
frorn "The Chocolate Soldier," by Oskar A. Straus, an
Austrian composer. An unofficial "whistle committee"
sometimes appears at Grand Chapter Conclaves and other assemblies to
remind the brothers of the fraternity whistle.
The Red Door Tradition
The tradition of the Red Door on Sigma Phi Epsilon Chapter houses
began at Syracuse University (N.Y. Alpha) in the 1920's. This has
become a strong tradition and as you travel to other college campuses
you will look for the "red door" of Sigma Phi
Epsilon where you know you will be welcome.
The Red Heart Symbol
Designed in 1974 by Bruce N. Blackburn, Cincinnati, '61, award winning
designer of the American Revolution Bicentennial symbol, the
Fraternity's heart symbol is derived from the shape of the Sig Ep
badge and incorporates the greek letters Sigma Phi Epsilon. The new
symbol is greatly simpli-fied, in comparison to the badge, and may be
readily reproduced in different sizes. The symbol is the cornerstone
of Sig Ep's tradition expressed in a clear and simple design. But,
when printed in a color other than black screen (which appears gray; -
never print in black), the color "warm red" is used to
denote the feeling of brotherhood which it symbolizes.
The Guide to Brotherhood
Development is the first publication which displayed the symbol in
1974, and it has since been used throughout all fraternity
communications. Chapters are encouraged to incorporate the symbol in
their publications, and may obtain artwork and assistance from Sigma
Phi Epsilon Headquarters.