Perhaps you’ve seen this bumper sticker on someone’s car. Maybe you’re wondering: why is “Coexist” written in a menagerie of symbols? There are many different interpretations of these symbols. We will take apart this symbol to its fundamental letters today:
- C – This is the star of Islam, symbolizing Muhammad’s teachings;
- O – A peace symbol, symbolizing peace;
- E – A somewhat of a merger between male and female, symbolizing respect and love between sexes;
- X – More like a star, but it is the six-pointed Star of David, symbolizing Jesus’ love and sacrifice for mankind;
- I – The dot on top of the lowercase “i” is a pentagram, mostly affiliated with Wiccans and the occult, symbolizing all things dark and evil;
- S – The Chinese Yin-and-yang, symbolizing balance; and
- T – What appears to be the cross, this is a symbol of Christianity and Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind
If we translate the above ideas directly into a sentence, then we get something like this:
“Islamic, peaceful male and female Jews should tolerate evil, with a balance like Christians”
This sentence may seem like random junk, but some meaning is expressed from the bumper sticker. First of all, all the symbols are in one word. Secondly, the symbols fall into three categories: religions, sexes, or ideas. This should mean that all races, whether Islamic, Jewish, or Christian; male or female, should exist in peace (O) and harmony (S). In other words, peoples of all kinds should coexist.
This bumper sticker has caused much controversy though. For example, a new bumper sticker came out as a parody. It closely resembles the Coexist sticker seen above, however, the “E” is substituted as a hammer and sickle (communism) and the X is a swastika (Nazism.) The message of that bumper sticker is that true coexistence is coexistence with not just good people but radicals as well.
The first bumper sticker is optimistic, the second is pessimistic and advises caution.