The charge of the ram is depicted as a male sheep often shown with horns and is a favorite device of the French heraldic tradition. A long held symbol of the beginning of life and stability in Christian religion, the ram protects the herd and also symbolizes sacrifice, as the ram was one of the first animals to be killed on an altar. The Latin name Aries comes from `aris' meaning altar and the ram, Aries, is depicted as the first sign of the Zodiac. The ram also symbolizes tremendous energy and a radiation of power that comes from the ram's vitality and laser-like capacity for prolonged effort. This symbol of the ram was designed originally to be an inspiration to others. The ram symbol compels others to follow by reminding them of the strength and authority of this charge.
In ancient Egypt, the ram was worshipped in the form of Khnum, a water god associated with fertility. Khnum ensured that the banks of the Nile river were fertile and able to produce good-quality crops.
In both pagan and Christian contexts, the ram is an object of sacrifice. Hermes Kriophoros (ram-bearer) commemorates the sacrifice of a ram. In Genesis 22:13 of the Christian bible Abraham sees a ram caught in a thicket and sacrifices it instead of his son.
The ram could be named for the Greek word for `Mars' from which the word `male' is derived. The animal is strong, forceful, energetic, and willful - traits that are typically emblematic of masculinity and virility.
ram is also a symbol of authority, resilience, leadership.
Example of known uses of ram
The coat of arms of Barrow-in-Furness
The issuant ram's head in the arms of this coastal town in the north west of England is a canting symbol for Sir James Ramsden, who played a major role in Barrow's development and became its first mayor in 1867.
This legendary American vehicle manufacturer originally adopted a salient ram as a car hood ornament in 1932, but by the 1950s it had morphed into a ram's head caboshed. After disappearing for a number of years, the ram was reintroduced in the 1970s.
Since 1280, the Gotland and Feroe Islanders in Scandinavia have used the ram charge and Universities such as Fordham and Suffolk in Boston use a ram motif. Chrysler/Dodge trucks and the St. Louis Rams football team use this logo, as does the largest home loan business in Australia, Rams Home Loans.