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A pilgrim with a scallop shell emblem

An emblem is a pictorial image either abstract or representational. It represents a concept — for example, a moral truth, or an allegory — or a person, such as a king or saint.[1] For example, the scallop shell is the traditional emblem of James, son of Zebedee. Pilgrims wore it on their hat or clothes to show that they were travelling to the shrine at Santiago de Compostela.

References

  1. Simpson, John; Weiner, Edmund (1989). Oxford English Dictionary (OED2). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861186-2 . http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/symbol.