What Pine Trees Mean

When I was last traveling with Tristan we passed a cooperative sign.  Now there are many cooperatives in the Dominican Republic and Tristan had noticed they use a symbol of two pine trees.  Now there is a pine tree native to the country (hispaniola pine), but it doesn’t grow in the very neat triangle shape that makes a Christmas tree.


With that in mind, I felt it did not seem the symbol came from the Dominican Republic.  I did first ask Hembra if she knew, just to see if it was common knowledge, but she did not.  So I did some research, first in Spanish.  That research indicated it was an international symbol.  To confirm I switch to English.

I found I nice explanation on the Keweenaw Co-op – About Co-ops website:

Dr. James Peter Warbasse, who wrote about the implications of cooperation and believed strongly in the co-op movement, created the twin pines emblem for use in the United States. In describing the significance of this symbol, he said: The pine tree is the ancient symbol of endurance and fecundity. More than one pine is used to signify cooperation. The trunks of the trees are continued into roots, which form the circle, the ancient symbol of eternal life, typifying that which has no end. The circle represents the all-embracing cosmos, which depends on cooperation for its existence. The two pines and the circle are dark green, the chlorophyll color of human’s life principle in nature. The background within the circle is gold, typifying the sun, giver of light and life. The twin pines symbol isn’t as common in the United States as it once was, since many co-ops have replaced it with their own logos. However, this symbol is still frequently used by co-ops in other countries, especially throughout Central America, in India, and in other developing regions.

I can affirm the final sentence is true.  The symbol is quite frequently used in the Dominican Republic.  And also would say that there are many cooperatives in this country.  Maybe in my position they are more noticeable than in the States.

Well I just want to end saying how good it felt to answer the question.


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