A religious symbol is an iconic representation intended to represent a specific religion, or a specific concept within a given religion.
Religious symbols have been used in the military in many differentcountries, such as the United States military chaplain symbols. Similarly, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs emblems for headstones and markers recognize 57 symbols (including a number of symbols expressing non-religiosity).
Symbolic representation of a specific religious tradition is useful in a society with religious pluralism, as was the case in the Roman Empire, and again in modern multiculturalism.
In many Traditional African religions, there are no graphical or pictorial symbols representing the actual religion or faith. Each tradition however, has symbolisms which are religious or spiritual in nature. Some of these may be graphical, numerological (as in Serer numerology - see Serer creation myth) or a combination of both. However, these graphical images do not represent the actual faith, but elements within the faith.
The very nature of African art stem from "their themes of symbolism, functionalism and utilitarianism" hence why African art is multi-functional. In the traditional African belief system, Africans draw from their various artistic traditions as sources of inspiration.