Choose the right word
emblem, attribute, image, sign, symbol, token, type
When it comes to representing or embodying the invisible or intangible, you can't beat a symbol. It applies to anything that serves as an outward sign of something immaterial or spiritual ( the cross as a symbol of salvation; the crown as a symbol of monarchy), although the association between the symbol and what it represents does not have to be based on tradition or convention and may, in fact, be quite arbitrary ( the annual gathering at the cemetery became a symbol of the family's long and tragic history). An emblem is a visual symbol or pictorial device that represents the character or history of a family, a nation, or an office ( the eagle is an emblem of the United States). It is very close in meaning to attribute, which is an object that is conventionally associated with either an individual, a group, or an abstraction ( the spiked wheel as an attribute of St. Catherine; the scales as an attribute of Justice). An image is also a visual representation or embodiment, but in a much broader sense ( veins popping, he was the image of the angry father). Sign is often used in place of symbol to refer to a simple representation of an agreed-upon meaning ( the upraised fist as a sign of victory; the white flag as a sign of surrender), but a symbol usually embodies a wider range of meanings, while a sign can be any object, event, or gesture from which information can be deduced ( her faltering voice was a sign of her nervousness). A token, on the other hand, is something offered as a symbol or reminder ( he gave her his class ring as a token of his devotion) and a type, particularly in a religious context, is a symbol or representation of something not present ( Jerusalem as the type of heaven; the paschal lamb as the type of Christ).