Word of the Day: Insignia

insignia – also insigne
in-sig-ni-a / ĭn-sĭg-nē-ə also in-sig-ne / ĭn-sĭg-nē
noun (plural insignia or insignias – also insignes)
1. an emblem; a symbol; an object that represents something else through association
A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation’s flag, sees not the flag only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the nation that sets it forth.
Henry Ward Beecher, 1813 – 1887
2. a distinguishing sign or mark of anything such as authority, honor, office
Rags, which are the reproach of poverty, are the beggar’s robes, and graceful insignia of his profession, his tenure, his full dress, the suit in which he is expected to show himself in public.
Charles Lamb, 1775 – 1834
Note: In Latin, insignia is the plural form of insigne, but in English, insignia has been used as a singular form and a plural form for a very long time.