The word sign is in the middle of insignia, so an insignia is a type of sign, but it does not stand alone, so it is attached to something like a badge or a uniform. It is most often a badge of office or honor and may indicate authority.
The number of stripes on a military insignia shows the rank of the person wearing it. A three striker, for example, would be a commander in the British Navy.
A rope and anchor are part of the Unites States Navy insignia. They represent tools used by sailors throughout time.
A coat of arms is a type of insignia which is made up of symbols and colors that represent a family. Signet is closely related to insignia. A signet ring may be a decorative piece of jewelry on which the wearer's initials may be engraved. For example, the Pope wears a signet ring known as the Fisherman's Ring whose original purpose was to ensure that documents were authentic.
As part of the insignia on its coat of arms, the British royal family once included three lions to represent the three areas of England.
One insignia of the Pope is the Fisherman's ring which has an image of St. Peter in a boat, fishing. It symbolises Christ's order that his disciples become fishers of men.
A ribbon is a strip of woven material, usually silk or rayon. It is frequently used in military decorations or medals for accomplishment. More recently ribbons have been used as symbols of remembrance, such as the pink ribbon representing breast cancer awareness.
My sister has a large collection of hair ribbons. Each day, she chooses one to match her outfit and ties it in a bow around her ponytail.
When I visited Boise, Idaho, last spring, I noticed large yellow ribbons made of wood on the front of the Capitol building. I was told that they symbolised a soldier from that state who was being held in captivity.
Ribbon candy is popular at Christmas. Thin strips of candy are bent into S shapes and include the colors red, green, and white. Ribbon can be also used to describe something long and narrow like a river or a strip of land.
I have never understood the popularity of ribbon candy at Christmas. It looks pretty, but it's too sweet for my taste.
The ribbon of land along the stream in my backyard is the best place to grow vegetables. It gets plenty of water and sunlight.