Phi Chi Symbols
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).
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
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.”
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.
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
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