THE ZONTA EMBLEM
“Zonta” is derived from a Lakhota (Teton Dakota), a language of the Native-American Sioux peoples, word meaning honest and trustworthy. It was adopted in 1919 to symbolize the combined qualities of honesty and trust, inspiration and the ability to work together for service and world understanding. The emblem is not simply a decorative design. It is an adaptation and composite of several Sioux Indian symbols which when superimposed take on a special significance for Zontians.
What appears to be the letter "Z" is actually the Sioux symbol for "ray of light," "sunshine" or "flash of radiance"--and so by extension, "inspiration.
The 2nd part is a Sioux symbol means "to band together for a purpose" or "to stand together"--in a word, "loyalty". With loyalty, individual members band together into clubs, clubs into districts, and districts into Zonta International. So loyalty surrounds the radiance and the inspiration as a familiar pattern begins to emerge.
This third component is the Sioux way of saying "to carry together". Carrying together is a most important ingredient for the accomplishment of Zonta's purpose: to work for the advancement of understanding, good will and peace through a world fellowship of business executives and professionals. This symbol has been conventionalized to lend itself to the total pattern and slips over the inspiration and the loyalty to draw members closer together.
This 4th part is the Sioux symbol for "shelter". Zonta's many service projects are in a real and broad sense shelter for someone or something. And service is synonymous with Zonta. This symbol therefore lends itself importantly in significance and design, embodying Zonta's aims and aspirations.
The symbolism of the square is not exclusively Sioux, nor indeed is it exclusively Native American. It perhaps dates back even further than all of these other symbols in its representation of "honesty" and "trust"--strong and vital qualities with which to bind together the parts of the whole.
Finally, we can recogize the 6th image - a symbol composed of many symbols-- that became Zonta's emblem signifying a radiant group of successful business executives and professionals who are loyal to the same inspired goals of service and world understanding with none but the most honest and trustworthy motives.
Finally, during the 1996-1998 biennium the Zonta International Board voted to have the words "Zonta International" incorporated into the emblem to standardize its appearance and enhance recognition of Zonta.
THE ZONTA ROSE
The beauty of a single yellow rose has been a favorite Zonta symbol for nearly 20 years.
The "Zonta Rose" was introduced at the 1984 Sydney Convention, thanks to the dedication and support of District 16 Zontians. In 1983, then Lieutenant Governor of District 16 (New Zealand), Valerie Webster, proposed that a breed of roses be developed as a living symbol of Zonta International. The renowned England-based nursery Harkness Roses worked to cultivate the flower, while Zontian Maureen Ross of Ross Roses in Adelaide, Australia enabled it to be introduced at the Convention.
Today, the lovely yellow bloom can be seen in members' gardens, memorial plantings, schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly, and in the forecourt of Australia's National Parliament in Canberra. Most recently, a Zonta Rose Bed was inaugurated at Bältesspännarparken in Gothenburg, Sweden, as part of the 2002 Zonta International Convention festivities.
But the Zonta Rose is much more than a lovely flower. Since 1999, it has served as the symbol of Zonta Rose Day, which falls on 8 March and coincides with International Women's Day. On this special day, Zontians worldwide are encouraged to publicly distribute yellow roses or items bearing the image of yellow roses, accompanied by information about Zonta International and issues relating to improving the lives of women.
The Zonta Rose itself has bright yellow blooms, produced in large sprays, and neatly spaced to form a bouquet. Each bloom is formed on its own long stem and has a particularly long life, whether on the bush or cut. Its fragrance is light and pleasant, while gardeners will appreciate that it is easy to grow and hardy, reaching an average of 1.2 meters in height.
The Zonta Rose is registered internationally under the name "Hartanna." It also goes by the name "Princess Alice" in Canada and the UK, and "Bright Lites" in the USA.