The Symbol of our Church
The Flaming Chalice is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. Some form of a flame in a chalice cup is lit at the beginning of most Unitarian Universalist worship services. Inspired by Jan Hus, a religious leader in the late fourteenth century. the symbolic flaming chalice was designed in 1941 by an Austrian artist, Hans Deutsch, as a logo for the Unitarian Service Committee. Deutsch's chalice provided a symbolic light of hope guiding the paths of Eastern European refuges fleeing the gathering Nazi threat. The original design, with a wide flat cup on a long stem and the flame rising above, was meant to echo the shape of the Christian cross.
When the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America merged in 1961, the flaming chalice design was adopted as the symbol of the newly-formed Unitarian Universalist Association. Two overlapping circles surrounding the cup and flame were added to represent the combined dual heritage of Unitarians and Universalists.