What Do The TOLERANCE Bumper Stickers Mean? (Explained)

Have you noticed vehicles with bumper stickers that simply state “TOLERANCE”? Apparently, many people passionately believe in this message and find it to be significant. This is why so many cars have a sticker with the word.

If you have been wondering what the TOLERANCE bumper sticker really means and why it is so crucial for car owners that have them, stay on this page.

We explore the TOLERANCE bumper sticker meaning, its origin, popularity, symbolism, similar stickers, contrary stickers and more. Let’s get started!

Here’s What TOLERANCE Bumper Stickers Mean:

The TOLERANCE bumper sticker conveys a message of acceptance, comprehension, and open-mindedness toward those with various philosophies, backgrounds, or lifestyles.

It frequently connotes the idea of encouraging inclusivity and diversity, instead of criticizing or discriminating against certain people.

Where Did the Tolerance Symbol Originate From?

The TOLERANCE symbols include nine symbols on the Tolerance bumper sticker. Each symbol stands for various ideologies, identities, and religions.

  • The letter “T” comes from Christianity and has a shape like a Christian cross, while the letter “O” emanates from the ubiquitous peace sign and has a shape like a peace symbol.
  • The letter “L” comes from the Native American peace pipe, and the letter “E” is derived from equality with a shape of a male and female gender symbol tied to an equality symbol.
  • Hopi fertility god, Kokopelli, dances and plays his flute beneath the arch of the letter “R” while the Jewish Star of David represents the letter “A”.
  • The letter “N” has a door-like design with a 9-point Baha’i star on the front.
  • Islam and the Greek moon goddess, Diana, are represented by the crescent moon and the star represent the “C”.
  • Einstein’s famous equation E=MC2, generated the second “E”.

These symbols on the Tolerance bumper sticker come from diverse origins and stand for various ideologies, identities, and religions that encourage tolerance.

However, from research, there are no data documenting the history and evolvement of the symbol. Before we continue, would you like to know what the bumper stickers with numbers also mean?

What Does It Mean Today When Used on Cars?

Today, using the “TOLERANCE” stickers on cars may have a different meaning from the original meaning. However, the popular message car owners continue to pass through this bumper sticker is to advocate for the same themes as old.

This includes the inclusivity and coexistence of various political, ethnic, and religious views and communities. It encourages the idea that individuals should welcome and consider others, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds.

It can also be a means to support causes related to social justice and human rights, such as equal rights, access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities, as well as environmental preservation.

Is the Tolerance Bumper Sticker Gaining or Losing Popularity?

There is no specific information on whether the tolerance bumper sticker is gaining or losing popularity. Owing to this, it is difficult to say if the use of tolerance bumper sticker is growing or declining.

However, there are certain factors influencing the use of this sticker today. These include the present social and political context, public awareness of social issues, and change in cultural norms.

The acceptance of TOLERANCE bumper stickers might have changed over time and might do so again in the future.

They may occasionally be in higher usage, particularly when there is social unrest or political unrest, or when there is a greater public consciousness of problems like racism, discrimination, and inequality.

The popularity of tolerance bumper stickers may also decline during times of low social and political stress or when people feel less need to express their opinions publicly.

However, a recent survey by CarMax has submitted that 60% of automobile owners had bumper stickers on their cars, which is a higher percentage than those that don’t.

This proves that today, many car owners still use bumper stickers to convey political, religion, and social opinions, while others use them to decorate cars, advertise businesses or charitable causes, or express humor or personal values.

Speaking of personal values, we have an article on what the fish bumper sticker means.

What Does Each Symbol in the Name Mean?

Each symbol in TOLERANCE has a different meaning. We explore each of them below.

T – symbolizes the Christian Cross.

O – represents the ubiquitous peace symbol.

L – represents peace as it comes from the Native American peace pipe.

E – denotes equality of the male and female gender.

R – means joyfulness and fertility as Kokopelli, a Hopi fertility god, dances on the “r” arch.

A – being the Jewish Star of David represents the Jew.

N – includes a door-like design with a 9-point Baha’i star on the front to represent the Baha’i faith.

C – with the symbol of the crescent moon represents the Islamic religion

E – represents Einstein’s famous equation E=MC2.

Are There Other Similar Bumper Stickers?

There are other similar bumper stickers to the tolerance sticker. From research, another symbol that people commonly interpreted as TOLERANCE is the COEXIST image.

Piotr Modoeniec, a Polish graphic designer, created the image as an entry in an international art competition.

The original artwork has the letters “COEXIST” written in full capital letters. However, the designer replaced the C by an oversized Muslim Crescent, the X by an oversized Star of David, and the T by an inflated Latin Cross.

These symbols advocate for the coexistence of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The symbol has grown to advocate for harmony and cohabitation between many religious and political ideologies.

Its goal is to encourage religious tolerance & harmonious cohabitation among those of various religions.

There is also the Black Lives Matter bumper sticker, which advocates for social justice and racial equality for Black people. People frequently employ it as a protest against systemic racism and police brutality.

The Inclusion bumper sticker also advocates for the embrace of people of all origins, identities, and abilities and highlights the importance of inclusivity. You might need to learn about the best place to fix these bumper stickers if you’re considering getting any.

How Does It Differ From the Coexist Sticker?

Although the “Tolerance” and “Coexist” bumper stickers often appear together, they have different meanings.

The “Tolerance” bumper sticker advocates for the tolerance of identities, ideas, and religions, while the “Coexist” bumper sticker promotes only religious tolerance.

The TOLERANCE bumper sticker often emphasizes on the value of having an open mind and being tolerant of the ideas, opinions, and lifestyles of other people. Even if we disagree with them, it advocates that we should work to create a society where we respect and tolerate everyone.

The COEXIST bumper sticker, otherwise, encourages religious harmony and peaceful coexistence among many religions and civilizations. The word “coexist” is frequently available on stickers using a variety of religious symbols.

This is to foster peaceful coexistence amongst members of many faiths and to inspire respect for and appreciation of the diversity of religious practices and beliefs. Learn more about the coexist bumper sticker here.

So far, many people try to emphasize the significance of tolerance and coexistence by using the two bumper stickers together.

Are There Any Bumper Stickers With a Contrarian View to Tolerance?

There are contrary views on tolerance; however, these views are not as prevalent or accessible as those that encourage tolerance. As such, it is difficult to provide examples.

In contrast to those that incite hatred, prejudice, or intolerance toward others, it is essential and critical to spread messages of respect and understanding about one another. It’s important to foster a good and inclusive environment.

Moreover, treating everyone kindly and respectfully and inspiring others to follow suit should be our priority to encourage harmony, peace, and understanding, rather than negativity and division.

Is There a Real Movement Behind the Symbol?

The tolerance symbol on bumper stickers is part of an actual movement by an individual who employs them; though there isn’t a formal movement for the cause.

Over the years, different people and groups have debated and promoted the idea of tolerance, notably in the fields of social justice and human rights. A way to show support for these concepts is by using the tolerance symbol on bumper stickers and other types of media.

There are variations of artwork that people have employed this symbol on aside from bumper stickers. They include flags, clothes, and others.

However, it is crucial to remember that not everyone who uses the symbol holds the same opinions or principles about tolerance and inclusiveness. Some might merely use it to endorse the notion without truly making any effort to combat bigotry and discrimination.

In conclusion, even though there isn’t an organized movement supporting the tolerance sign on bumper stickers, people frequently use it as a method to express their support for the concept of tolerance and encourage inclusion.


Practice Tolerance Rainbow Full Color Bumper Sticker | Peace Monger

When Tolerance and Coexistence Are (Not) Enough | NC Council of Churches

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