Why are traffic lights red, amber and green? Why is the Virgin Mary so often depicted in blue robes? Where did the equals sign originate? Who decided the Pentagon should be a five-sided building and why? We are surrounded, at all times, by layer upon layer of hidden meaning. Our world is constructed out of symbolic abstractions, each one with its own assumptions and messages that speak to us on the deepest levels. From religious art to gang tattoos, hidden meaning is encoded into every aspect of society. Symbols explores this hidden world, looking at over 100 of the most powerful, evocative, mysterious, and exciting symbolic skeins in the world today. Easy and accessible to the absolute beginner and packed full of fascinating revelations and details guaranteed to enthrall even the most dedicated symbol-hunter, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know a bit more about the world around them. With content ranging from symbolic stereotypes and modern interpretations of classical myth, to the mysteries of Washington DC's city design and the hidden language of the pre-Raphaelites, Symbols will open your eyes to the hidden world around you, and nothing will ever be quite the same.