The HKN Coat of Arms or Shield, as it is often called, was initiated in 1927. It contains various historical markers about the Society, such as the Hand of Jupiter which contains ten lightning bolts to symbolize the ten founding members.
The Wheatstone bridge is Eta Kappa Nu’s emblem. The shield is crested with a Wheatstone bridge with the Association’s colors of scarlet and navy blue entwined beneath. The Wheatstone bridge is an accurate precision electrical instrument. The analogy which we draw from it for Eta Kappa Nu is the fact that it is in balance when it is correctly adjusted. This is what we strive for as members of Eta Kappa Nu: to lead a balanced life, a life in which scholarship, character, and personality are jointly developed. In using the Wheatstone bridge, an unknown quantity can be determined when the other three elements are known. The three qualities of which we are certain in members are scholarship, character, and personality. When these three are balanced, then the unknown–success–is determined. In summary, the Wheatstone bridge is symbolic of a balanced person.
The Caduceus, wand of Mercury, who was the messenger of Jupiter, was preferred by our founder, Maurice Carr, as the symbol for this Association. Therefore, upon the honor point of the shield is placed the Caduceus as a memorial to him. Its field is scarlet, symbolizing the zeal with which our founder projected his idea.
The mighty hand of Jupiter was selected as being symbolic of the founder chapter with a blade of lightning for each of the ten founder members. The field is blue, typifying the loyalty with which they performed their task.
The band of silver contains three cubes of magnetite to represent the three requirements of membership into Eta Kappa Nu.
- l Members of Eta Kappa Nu must have outstanding traditional academic abilities – but they must also have a good supply of common sense to make use of the knowledge, information, and ideas they may acquire.
- l Members of Eta Kappa Nu must be of unimpeachable character, have sound judgment, and possess the capacity and willingness for hard work.
- l Members of Eta Kappa Nu must have a positive outlook on life, a congenial nature, and the adaptability for working in harmony with all sorts of people.
Beneath the shield is a ribbon bearing the name Eta Kappa Nu. In early Greece there was a philosopher who discovered that if he rubbed a piece of amber with a cloth he experienced the phenomena that we know as static electricity. The Greek name for amber is spelled nlektpov (Eta Lambda Epsilon Kappa Tau Rho Omicron Nu). From this word the English language derives the words: electricity, electron, and electronic. And from this name we derive our name — we use the first, the fourth, and the last letters, namely Eta, Kappa, and Nu. The symbols used on the emblem are the early forms of these Greek letters.