On October 13, 1870, the day Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded, 6 women marched in the Chapel wearing keys in their hair with the letters KKG, pronouncing themselves as a new women's fraternity. The golden key was selected by the Founders to be the badge of Kappa Kappa Gamma. The badge is worn strictly as an emblem of membership and only by initiated members. Members may not lend their badges to anyone except other Kappas. It has the letters "KKG" on the stem and "Alpha Omega Omicron" on the ward. On the reverse side of the key are engraved the member's initials, the Greek letters of her chapter, and her date of initiation. The first keys were handmade by jewelers and worn in the hair, on the bodice, or as a brooch. Today, they are one inch in length and are either plain gold or jeweled.
The colors of the Fraternity are light blue and dark blue, which have been described as those shades which in light and dark tones reproduce the "soft velvety blue approaching the cornflower in shade," which is also a description of the sapphire, the Fraternity jewel. Our two shades of blue are often described as the "blue of sea and sky."
The fleur-de-lis was chosen as the Fraternity flower because of its
general dignity, stateliness, and grace. It was selected in 1890.
In addition to our flower and badge, the owl was chosen as a symbol for Kappa because it is the bird of wisdom as well as the bird of Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom. It was first used as a Kappa symbol in 1881.
The Fraternity Coat of Arms combines the well-known symbols of Kappa Kappa Gamma: the key, the Greek letters, the new-member pin, the fleur-de-lis, the owl, and the two blues. It also displays the head of Minerva, Roman Goddess of Wisdom, because the founders took pride that Kappa was born mature like Minerva, who sprang out of the head of her father fully grown.