The official emblem of the World YMCA was first adopted in 1881, at the 9th International YMCA World Conference, and is still in use today.
The emblem is circular and made up of five segments, each one carrying the name of a continent. The segments are held together by small “cartouches” with monograms of the YMCA in different languages. As early as 1881, YMCA leaders believed the Movement could be truly international and united across borders.
In the centre of the circle is a larger monogram of Christ’s name (a combination of the two first letters of the name in Greek), as seen in the catacombs painted by early Christians. An open Bible sits on top of the monogram, showing John chapter 17 (XVII), Verse 21, “that they all may be one”. This was to remind YMCAs that Christ is at the centre of the Movement, a source of strength, hope and unity, binding us all together.