History of Ewha’s symbol
When Ewha set off as the first female education institution in Korea, it did not have a name. It was known as a school established by a foreigner who taught females. Then, the school name “Ewha,” which is known all across Korea and even globally, was bestowed by Emperor Gojong in 1887. This was important for the school; not just because it was the emperor who granted the name but also because it enhanced Ewha’s reputation as the first leading women’s educational institute in Korea.
During the 1800s, there was not any systematic academic institution for women. The social atmosphere at the time considered women to be insignificant in society. Only when Mary Scranton, one of the earliest Christian missionaries who entered Korea, founded a women’s school, female education in Korea rose above the surface. Yet, social prejudice against women did not change. Meanwhile, because the emperor officially approved of Ewha by bestowing its name, people began to recognize Ewha’s existence and importance. Ewha began to receive more social support since then. Ewha’s achievement in female education in Korea is reflected on its symbol. The Ewha logo in the shape of a pear blossom was first used in 1930, when Ewha was known as Ewha Women’s Professional School. Prior to its first official use of the logo, Ewha Hak-tang’s class of 1914 distributed badges with pictures of pear blossoms.
“People assume that since Ewha means pear blossom in Chinese character, it was natural that pear blossom eventually became the symbol of Ewha Womans University,” said a researcher of Ewha Archives. “The shape became modernized and simpler as time passed to become of the beautiful logo we use today.”
The logo is special in its way because it symbolizes Ewha’s founding spirit and principle. In the upper part of the logo is a cross which represents Ewha’s Christian values. The lower part consists of an yin and yang symbol which represents Ewha’s nationalistic spirit. The pear blossom shape and the positions of the five petals on the logo remained the same throughout the years since its first official use. The motto “Truth, Goodness, and Beauty” and the picture of Nam-dae-moon placed in the center of the flower also remains. However, the yearly numerals and English name placed in the outer layer of the logo went through several changes.
Now, there are two numerals 1886 and 1945 written in the logo. The year 1886 symbolizes the establishment of Ewha Hak-tang and the year 1945 symbolizes the establishment of Ewha Womans University that stands today.