Insignia and Mottos
Phi Kaps love few things more than the skull and bones. Here’s a bit more about some of our insignias:
Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms is comprised of 3 pieces: the Crest (the Skull above the shield), the Arms (the shield itself) and the Maxim (the scroll below the shield). The objects that comprise the Coat of Arms have standard heraldic meanings which include the year of our founding (1850), the importance of academic excellence and that membership in Phi Kappa Sigma is a lifelong commitment.
The Maxim is Phi Kappa Sigma’s public motto, “Stellis Aequus Durando,” which is Greek for “Equal To The Stars In Endurance.”
The flag is black, with the letters Phi, Kappa, and Sigma in old gold, with an old gold skull and crossbones in the top left corner.
New member pin
The new member pin is a square on black enamel with Phi, Kappa, and Sigma in old gold. This badge is worn by uninitiated members, above the short pocket, over the heart.
The official badge of membership is a gold Maltese Cross with a black enamel border and skull and crossbones in the center. In the left, lower, and right arms are the letter Phi, Kappa, and Sigma, respectively, each in black enamel. In the upper arm of the cross is a six-pointed star, also in black enamel. On the reverse of the badge is the date of the Fraternity‘s founding in Roman numerals (1850, or MDCCCL in Roman numerals), surrounded by a serpent, and the member‘s name or initials, Chapter letter(s), and class year. The badge is never jeweled in order to express equality among all members.
The membership badge should always be worn over the heart, not on the lapel of a coat. When attired in a sports coat or suit, the badge should be worn on the shirt or vest. The badge may also be worn on a collared shirt, but should never be worn on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or similar attire.
Our official fraternity flower is the yellow chrysanthemum.
Our official fraternity colors are black and old gold.
We also have a number of public mottos that our members live by:
“Brotherhood Is More Than Skin Deep”
In 1858, a proposal was introduced to the Fraternity that would have made Phi Kappa Sigma an all-white organization. The proposal was unanimously voted against, making Phi Kap the first fraternity to officially adopt an anti-discriminatory clause in its Constitution in 1860. We choose men to become members based on the worth of their character, not superficialities like race, religion, or wealth.
“Once A Phi Kap, Always A Phi Kap”
Our brothers retain membership throughout life, because our organization is a lifelong commitment. Our organization is not something you do for four years in college and then forget about when you graduate – it is a lifelong learning process that defines how you mature into a better man and gives you the ideals to live by.
“Stellis Aequus Durando”
Latin for“Equal to the stars in endurance”, our fraternity has survived hardships, World Wars, and countless other obstacles, yet we still remain strong. Since 1850, Phi Kappa Sigma has become a durable and everlasting organization that will succeed for many years to come. This motto is emblazoned on our crest because it signifies the underlying outlook that our members have for the organization.
“Men of Honor Since 1850”
The value of Honor is at the core of our fraternity. A “Man of Honor” is an inspiring yet humble example of the greatness that can be achieved when a man commits to better himself, lives congruently with a set of honorable values and serves the society in which he lives.