50 - Whistles, Symbols, and Flags of Chi Omega

One of the most enjoyable parts of being a Sister in Chi Omega is the shared experiences, memories, and ritual that we each have within our Sisterhood. When those things that are often hard to put into words can be easily represented by a symbol or a tune, it creates a natural camaraderie among Sisters, no matter the age or chapter.

One of the lesser known symbols, or tunes rather, of Chi Omega is our whistle. Almost every Greek organization created a whistle in the earlier days of Fraternal life. Listen to it below and try it yourself!

National whistle of Chi Omega
Whistles of other Greek organizations

Adopted in 1902, the crest holds glimpses of our ritual and symbolism. Centered on the crest is the white carnation, with the Chi to the left and the Omega to the right of the flower. Above these symbols are both the skull and crossbones and the owl. Beneath the carnation are the five letters, Rho, Beta, Upsilon, Eta and Sigma. A laurel wreath, used by ancient Greeks to honor scholars and heroes, surrounds all of the emblems known and loved by Chi Omegas.

The Chi Omega Crest

Chi Omega’s symbol is the owl, a bird of wisdom, which reminds the membership of their responsibility to strive for knowledge and understanding throughout life.

Branded owl symbol of Chi Omega

The Chi Omega seal was designed by Founder, Ina May Boles. Her inspiration for the design was inspired by a statue of Demeter from the British Museum.

Official seal of Chi Omega
Official seal of Chi Omega and statue of Demeter in the British Museum

At the Chicago Convention in 1908, the delegation adopted a design for an official Chi Omega flag offered by Mary Wright Bain, Nu/Wisconsin, the S.M., who had made a careful study of heraldry, the system by which coats of arms and other armorial bearings are made. These flag designs differ greatly from the flags most collegians have today with the Fraternity’s insignia on them.


Banner and Floating flag