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Phi Chi Symbols

Name/Motto Coat of Arms Membership Badge Doodle Bug Flower Colors Pennant Flag Official Key


Many futile attempts have been made to ascertain why the name Phi Chi was chosen.  Irvin Abell, Alpha (Southern Fraternity; now Alpha Alpha) is of the opinion that the letters represented the motto- Philia Charitos- but he does not recall when or why or by whom the words were introduced.  This revelation was made to Herbert Bronner, Gamma (Southern Fraternity; now Alpha Alpha) a year after the 1903 convention had accepted the present exoteric motto- Phthanomen Chrasimein (Φθνομεν-Χραιομειν).


Coat of Arms

During the 1915 Grand Chapter meeting, the first Coat of Arms was adapted yet the design can be traced back to the 1908 bylaws and used in Louisville in 1902.  Earlier than this the Phi and Chi were entwined and called the “Crest.”

The First Phi Chi Crest

Membership Badge

Adapted 1907

The first membership pin design was discussed at the first meeting of October 26, 1894, of the Southern Fraternity.  “Roman gold ground, white enamel letters and design (caduceus), with border of alternating rubies and pearls.”   The badge was changed in 1896, adapted in 1897, by William J. Foley to consist of “A gold skull with the cross bones and fraternity colors in a bow of ribbon below the bones in enamel.  The initial of the college shall be placed between the bones and letters Phi and Chi shall be upon the forehead (of the skull); the eyes to be rubies.”

1st Official Badge of Phi Chi (South)

2nd Official Badge of Phi Chi (South)

Official Badge of Phi Chi (East)

Pledge Pin

The design of the pledge button was changed at the time of the Pi Mu Honor Society merger in 1922 to honor the Pi Mu honor system.  The badge of Pi Mu, a Greek cross carrying the skull and crossbones in addition to the Greek letters ΠΜ, by agreement became Phi Chi's pledge button with the substitution of a caduceus and the letters ΦΧ in silver on a field of green.

The original pledge button of the Fraternity was a square top of silver with the escutcheon of the coat-of-arms in white on a field of green.



The symbol is a representation of the Adult Tiger Beetle (Cicindela patruela). The body is metallic green with white spots and markings and we have added the gold Phi Chi. This species is one of the most beautiful Tiger Beetles and its range appears to be throughout Merriam's transition zones from Vermont, south to the Georgia mountains and westward to Wisconsin. Its time of appearance is from June to September and its number varies considerably from place to place. The Doodle Bug frequents various habitats from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard to some of the sand dunes of other lakes, shady paths, hills, and in some open wooded areas throughout its distribution. They are capable of flying and running swiftly and are very difficult to capture. Because of their speed and activity they have been adopted by the Fraternity as a symbol for enthusiasm. In Phi Chi language, "Doodle" stands for enthusiasm and the bug is its symbol and serves to remind us that to be successful we must also be enthusiastic.
“Doodle” was adopted as official Grand Chapter Slogan in December, 1910, by Lorenzo F. Luckie.  The design is first seen in the Phi Chi Quarterly in 1911, by Theodore B. Pearson.  Ralph E. Duncan identified it with the tiger beetle  in 1919.

For more on the Doodlebug



Lily-of-the-valley  with leaves was adapted as the official flower in 1897.



October 17, 1896, the fraternal colors of Olive Green and White were adapted.



Adapted in 1913
The official pennant shall be a green felt field tapering to a point.  in white felt shall be a skull and crossbones over a monogram of Phi and Chi; a white line shall divide this design from the words PHI CHI in white, tapering.



Adapted in 1916
The flag of the Fraternity shall be rectangular in form, the length being twice the width.  It shall be made of two squares, one of white to be on the inner side and one of green (olive) to be on the outer side.  On the white field shall be a green star; on the green field shall be a white star.  In the center, equally on both fields, shall be a golden yellow caduceus surmounted by a star of the same color.


Official Key

Adapted during the XXXI Grand Chapter Meeting in 1949.  Described to be the present official badge (or a scaled replica) fastened to a metal base of polished gold.  These keys are available as honor awards.

This page was last updated on: March 26, 2014