Each time we see the cross and flame, we are looking a United Methodist's symbol--our trademark. It dominates the exterior of church buildings and decorates choir robes, hymnals and even road signs. More than 40,000 highway or road signs have been sold since the insignia was created years ago. In is viewable on every continent except Antarctica.
Creation of the United Methodist Symbol dates back to the spring of 1968 when the Uniting Conference directed the design of an official insignia. This emblem was to reflect warmth such as John Wesley had experienced on a long-ago spring evening in London's Aldersgate Street.
The cross is linked with a single but dual flame. The insignia thereby relates our church to God by way of the second and third persons of the Trinity: God the Son (cross) and God the Holy Spirit (the flame). Duality of the flame also represents the merger in 1968 of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
In July 1971 the symbol was registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a service mark, officially 917,443, to remain in effect until 1991, at which time it may be renewed.