Covenant’s motto, “In all things Christ preeminent,” is based on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossian church, in which he reminds young believers of Jesus Christ’s central and exalted role in relationship to the created order: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:15-18) Jesus Christ’s status as the firstborn of all creation is the foundation of Covenant’s educational mission, as the College seeks as a community of learning to know and celebrate his preeminence in all dimensions of existence.
The thistle has been used as a logo from the earliest days of the College and is used in the College shield. The thistle has a much longer history as the national symbol of Scotland. In the College’s context, the thistle points to the distinctly Scottish heritage of Presbyterianism. But for the Scots themselves it is a reminder of the legendary day in 1263 when the invading Vikings of King Haakon IV stepped on the prickly spurs and cried out in pain, thus alerting the sleeping Scots of their presence. The Norsemen would never rule over or attack the Scots again.
Offset in the right-hand side of the college shield is a swatch of Covenant tartan. Many academic shields contain some sort of symmetrical chevron, cross, or division. Covenant, in keeping with that tradition, employs a chevron in its shield. The swatch of plaid used for the chevron is derived from the Clergy tartan worn in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by Scottish pastors and employed by the College in various uses. The Covenant tartan is used in the Covenant graduate hood.
(Excerpted from “The Covenant College Motto and Logo,” Covenant College Catalog)