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In FMA, the back of Edward's coat shows this symbol:

enter image description here

I can't figure out what it would be a reference to in-universe, because the symbology seems Judeo-Christian (a cross and what looks like it could be a serpent), and the show doesn't really have any Christian symbology in it. Is this some symbol in real life? What is it supposed to mean?

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3 Answers 3

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It's called the Flamel (yes, named after Nicolas Flamel, purported to be an alchemist who sought the Philosopher's Stone).

It is most noticeably similar to the symbol of Hermes, a god of alchemy, and also the Rod of Asclepius, which you may recognize from ambulances as the EMS symbol.

enter image description here enter image description here

It is not a religious symbol, nor is it ever explained to have a relevance in the FMA universe. However, given its real life links to alchemy and medicine, it's safe to say that the author intended to bring forth real-world alchemical symbols into her universe.

Further reading: FMA Wiki entry on the Flamel

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The image on the right is the Rod of Asclepius, the god of healing. The one on the left is the Caduceus - the symbol of Hermes. American institutions often mix them up and use the wrong one. –  Eamonn May 3 at 11:21

Its a Flamel

The Flamel refers to the mystical and alchemical symbol depicted as a cross with a snake or serpent draped about it, as well as detached wings and a crown above it.

In Alchemy, the Flamel represents the "fixing of the volatile", a vital step in the alchemical opus' process, related to the making of the mercury's elixir and of curative processes.

The Flamel is named after Nicolas Flamel Whom After his death developed a reputation as an alchemist. However, these legendary accounts only appeared in the seventeenth century.

"Flamel was a real person, and he may have dabbled in alchemy, but his reputation as an author and immortal adept must be accepted as an invention of the seventeenth century." - Dixon, Laurinda

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Well as everybody on here has said, it's a flamel which is a symbol created by the alchemist Nicholas Flamel.

After looking into it a bit more, I learned that Flamel often used this symbol when he talked about the Elixir of Life in his books.

So that makes it a fitting symbol for Dante, as she thought she had discovered immortality.

As far as the wings and crown, I'm not sure what those represent, as those are not part of the original Flamel symbol. I'm guessing its something Dante added to it, to make it her own. But like I said, I'm not sure what it represents.

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The wings are seen in one of the images キルア posted, the crown i'd assume has something to do with how Führer Bradley is known as King Bradly, since the symbol was first seen in the Manga we could more assume that the Crown was Father's doing since Dante isn't in the Manga and it was Father who taught the people of Amestris Alchemy –  Memor-X Jul 3 at 22:20

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