I keep seeing this symbol on old electronics appliances of varying types.

enter image description here

Two examples that I own...

Early 1960's portable "Megger" insulation tester enter image description here

July 1969 Marconi attenuator enter image description here

I have also seen this on other equipment manufactured as late as the 1980's, such as an HP 3314A signal generator.

So, it appears that this is a standard symbol, and not a proprietary one.

What does it mean?

Final edit to add another photo as supporting evidence for @Spehro Pefhany's answer

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Tried a Google image search? You'd soon find the answer if you did. \$\endgroup\$
    – Finbarr
    Commented May 18 at 14:08
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ UK MoD perchance? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kartman
    Commented May 18 at 14:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Finbarr, yes but the symbol is so primitive that I get a large number of unrelated hits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wossname
    Commented May 18 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting that it closely resembles the symbol used for an antenna in electrical diagrams (though inverted). I imagine this could cause confusion on certain electronic devices. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19 at 18:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Finbarr what a classically helpful passive aggressive stack exchange answer. thanks for your contribution and assumption that OP is an idiot. \$\endgroup\$
    – riptusk331
    Commented May 22 at 0:46

1 Answer 1


The Broad Arrow (aka 'pheon') indicates that the item in question was once (British) Government property - a Crown asset.

enter image description here

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There's a nice picture of a voltmeter with such a symbol in the wikipedia article too. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Commented May 18 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fascinating. The "Megger" device I own bears the brand "A.M." and a crown logo literally burned into its leather carry case. I didn't put these two clues together! A.M. stood for Air Ministry which later became the Ministry of Defence in 1964. I'll add a photo... \$\endgroup\$
    – Wossname
    Commented May 18 at 14:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Wossname That is probably an Ordnance Survey benchmark. \$\endgroup\$
    – avid
    Commented May 18 at 22:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ The use of this arrow by the UK government/military often gets mentioned on (UK) antiques programs like Antiques Roadtrip or Flog It! (including one I saw earlier today!) \$\endgroup\$
    – TripeHound
    Commented May 18 at 23:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ They put the arrows on prisoners (prison uniforms) as well. web.archive.org/web/20240519210150/https://… \$\endgroup\$
    – D Duck
    Commented May 19 at 21:02

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