A insignia (from latin insigne , characteristics, [military] badge, Award ' , more often in the plural insignia used; noun to adjective insignis , by a badge before other recognizable, recognizable, distinct, prominent, flashy' ) is a mark state,-sized or religious dignity, power and distinction. Signs of rule are also used, especially in political contexts . The insignia should make the status, service or office of the wearer visible to the outside world.
Usually the plural form insignia is used, the singular much less often. In addition to the singular form (the) insignia , variants such as (the) insignia or (the) insignium often appear in texts , which according to the Duden are not considered to be standard language.
Insignia can be:
- Headgear, e.g. B. the crown , the miter of the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, the veil of religious and consecrated virgins , the biretta of the clergy, the laurel wreath
- Necklaces, e.g. B. the chains of office of mayors and deans of universities, the pectoral of bishops
- Garments, e.g. B. the pallium of the archbishops , the habit of the religious
- Rings , e.g. As the Fisherman's Ring of Pope
- symbolic objects to be carried in the hand, e.g. B. scepter , orb , vitis or swagger stick , crook , ferula
- symbolic representations, e.g. B. Coat of arms and seal
- Attributes of saints by means of which they can be recognized on representations, see iconographic saints attribute
Well-known examples of insignia are:
- the imperial regalia
- the crook (a staff worn as a sign of pastoral service by bishops, abbots and abbesses)
- the Federal Cross of Merit for Federal Presidents on taking office (special level of the Grand Cross)
- the British Crown Jewels
- Gerd Althoff : The power of rituals - symbolism and rule in the Middle Ages , Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-14749-9