What Is the Symbol for Hope?

A dove and an anchor are both considered to be symbols of hope. There are many symbols for hope, which often rely on a common cultural or literary context for appropriate interpretation. Doves’ and anchors’ roles as symbols of hope both derive from the Bible.

The dove’s origin as a symbol for hope originates in Genesis 8:8-12, toward the end of the story of Noah’s Ark, when Noah “sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.” The anchor, which can also symbolize safety and constancy, comes to symbolize hope in Hebrews 6:19, which states, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” This led to the appearance of anchors on early Christian catacombs.