Illustration of a white dove flying in front of a rainbow and blue sky with a gold out edge
White doves are a traditional symbol of peace and love. They represent purity, hope, redemption, honesty, and pacifism. Doves often appear in the religious texts of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The image of the rainbow implies unity with others. The olive branch held in the dove's beak suggests peace, as in the concept of "offering the olive branch" as a way to make peace with others.
Doves are used in celebrations and ceremonies. It is a common wedding practice to release white doves upon completion of the vows. Doves can also be part of mourning and funeral services; their release provides an uplifting spiritual symbol. Releasing doves became part of the Olympic closing ceremonies in 1896. In 1920, the ritual became part of the opening ceremony. Due to safety concerns for the doves, the Olympic tradition has become purely symbolic since 1988.
A Doves Love. (n.d.). Symbolism. http://www.adoveslove.com/symbolism.html