Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Sherer

Second Advisor

Dr. Bruce Johansen

Third Advisor

Dr. James Conyers


This study investigated whether the definitions of symbols on the Internet are consistent with the historical definitions. Six web sites were viewed: (,,,,, and Ten symbols found within these sites were used for this study: arrow, blood, cross, dragon, eagle, fire, lightning, skull, swastika, and wolf. Definitions of the symbols were taken from three texts: Dictionary of symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Traditional Images, Icons, and Emblems, by Jack Tressider; Dictionary of symbolism, by Hans Biedermann; and The continuum encyclopedia of symbols by Udo Becker. Out of the ten symbols studied, only the cross and the swastika did not follow their historical meaning. This was not because the symbols were altered in any way. Their definitions were changed because of what accompanied them.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2001 LaTosha Zenee' Dale.