Symbolism Sunday: The Oak

December 12, 2010

Associated with such superlatives as hospitality, stability, strength, honour, eternity, endurance and liberty, it’s not hard to see why the oak is such a revered symbol.

Oak Locket

Note the acorns and oak leaves


Countries such as England, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the US and several other countries have all claimed the oak as their national tree – and why not? With age, strength and longevity being associated with it, the adoption of the tree as a national symbol is good fortune.

How does that affect funeralia? Jesus Christ’s cross was said to be made from oak, often children’s graves are placed under or near an oak tree (from pioneer cemeteries) and it is used on military tombs. Combined with the acorn and the oak leaves, the entire symbol can stand for power, authority or victory.

And in jewellery? The leaves and the acorn (as spoken about earlier) were often found most commonly in late Victorian jewellery, however you’ll find an entire depiction of the oak occasionally in Neoclassical sentimental pieces, painted on ivory and often in the background. Usually, the oak is less prominent than the willow or the cypress, which are far more common.

That should do for the time being, now look outside and see if you can spot an oak!

Previously on Symbolism Sunday:

The Acanthus

Revisiting The Trumpet

The Harp


The Acorn

The Trumpet

The Male

The Woman

The Three Graces

Faith, Hope and Charity

The Clover

The Willow

The Column

The Hourglass

The Serpent

The Dove

The Dog

The Angel

The Marigold / Lily

26 Responses to “Symbolism Sunday: The Oak”

  1. Love this post, for some reason I can’t get enough on symbolism and trees.


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Clare Gibson, Hayden Peters. Hayden Peters said: Symbolism Sunday: The Oak: […]

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