The basic design was suggested by Mebane Smith (brother of Frances Yancey Smith) and selected by Founders Maud Jones Horner, Frances Yancey Smith, and Mary Campbell Jones Batte. The badge has remained unchanged except for a few variations in detail. It is a small, black enameled shield superimposed upon a gold shield, bearing a five-pointed crown with the letters “ZTA” arranged around it and the word “Themis.”
The badge is worn over the heart, and no badge is to be placed above or attached to it. No one but initiated members shall wear the badge of ZTA.
New Member Pin
Since 1912, women awaiting initiation have worn the turquoise and silver carpenter’s square, one of the most unusual and distinctive pledge pins in the fraternity world. The square first appeared as the pledge pin at the 1910 Convention. The voting delegation accepted the square made in gold and faced with turquoise blue enamel. Prior to this time, no designs were used consistently.
Today, it is still the honor and privilege of each ZTA pledge to wear the turquoise and silver carpenter’s square, as she begins her lifetime association.
Coat of Arms
This may be used, by members only, in any manner which is dignified and tasteful. Many attractive Coat of Arms plaques have been designed to hang in the chapter house or in a member’s home. The ritualistic meaning of the coat of arms is reserved for those who are initiated into the Fraternity.
In the late 1800s, an admirer of one of ZTA’s Founders sent a gift of strawberries. The scrumptious present prompted the group of nine friends to host their first purely social gathering and to become officially recognized as a campus organization.
The banner of the Fraternity is rectangular and made of turquoise and gray satin. It bears the letter “A,” the word “Themis” in Greek, and a burning torch. The meaning of the banner is secret, but it may be hung in a place that is visible to anyone entering a chapter house, suite, or any appropriate setting.
Themis, the goddess of divine justice and law embodies the virtue of equality shared by all ZTAs. The national quarterly ZTA magazine, Themis, is a well-balanced publication that showcases pictures and news of ZTA collegiate and alumnae chapters, as well as individual achievement.
he official flower of Zeta Tau Alpha is the white violet and was chosen by one of our founding members, Ruby Leigh Orgain. The meaning behind the white violet is explained in our initiation service.