The emblem is an occult representation of something unknown or concealed by a sign or thing that is known. Thus, a square is in Freemasonry an emblem of morality; a plumb line, of rectitude of conduct; and a level, of equality of human conditions.
Emblem is very generally used as synonymous with symbol, although the two words do not express exactly the same meaning. An emblem is properly a representation of an idea by a visible object, as in the examples quoted above; but a symbol is more extensive in its application, includes every representation of an idea by an image, whether that image is presented immediately to the senses as a visible and tangible substance, or only brought before the mind by words.
Hence an action or event as described, a myth or legend, may be a symbol; and hence, too, it follows that while all emblems are symbols, all symbols are not emblems (see Symbol).
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