Love and Tolerance 


Others is our Code

The Circle and the Triangle

The Three Legacies of AA

"The circle stands for the whole world of A.A., and the triangle stands for A.A.'s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service. Within our wonderful new world, we have found freedom from our fatal obsession. That we have chosen this particular symbol is perhaps no accident. The priests and seers of antiquity regarded the circle enclosing the triangle as a means of warding off spirits of evil, and A.A.'s circle and triangle of Recovery, Unity, and Service has certainly meant all of that to us and much more."  (Bill W., Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, Bill W.’s 1955 speech)


However, in the early 1990s, A.A.W.S. decided to begin eliminating the use of the Circle and Triangle symbol on its literature, letterhead and other material.  It had become to too costly and too controversial for AA to try to continue to defend its rights to this symbol.  It was "officially" and "legally" phased out after the 1994 General Service Conference resolved that the logo be discontinued on all Conference-approved literature. However, the symbol is still associated with Alcoholics Anonymous (and other kinds of 12-Step recovery fellowships) and has a special meaning for AA members all over the world.

The symbol of the circle and triangle is an ancient spiritual symbol meaning mind, body, and spirit together as one.

In AA, this symbol represents the three parts of our program (recovery, unity, service) which are the solutions to the three-part disease of alcoholism (physical, mental and spiritual). The circle surrounding the triangle represents Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.  The equilateral triangle is the strongest construction structure known to us.  Because all three sides are equal, the triangle represents the balance required among all 36 principles in order for us to stay sober. 

So the solution to our alcoholism is found in the Three Legacies (Recovery, Unity and Service) passed down to us by our co-founders, Dr. Bob, Bill W. and the first pioneers of AA,  Each legacy has twelve guiding spiritual principles.  A total of 36 guiding principles.  Each of spiritual principles are contained in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (Recovery, Unity, Service), the Twelve and Twelve (Recovery and Unity), and the General Service Manual (Service).


The following is an explanation of each of the Legacies and it's Spiritual Principles:

Recovery/Mind/The Individual (Mental Obsession)

"When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken."

Responsibility Statement

I am responsible…

When anyone, anywhere,

reaches out for help, I want

the hand of A.A. always to be there.

And for that: I am responsible.


Unity/Body/The AA Group (Physical)

More importantly, however, the group and its members are responsible for making sure that the door to the meeting is open and there for the newcomer. 

Do I have a group that I am committed to and involved with?  When I am participating in AA and Group Conscious meetings, do I follow the 12 Traditions?

A Declaration of Unity

This we owe to A.A.’s future:

To place our common welfare first;

To keep our fellowship united.

For on A.A. unity depend our lives,

And the lives of those to come.

Service/Spirituality/The AA Organization (Spiritual Malady)

Am I working with other alcoholics taking them through the twelve steps? Am I practicing all of the spiritual principles inside and outside AA? Am I restless, irritable or discontent?  If AA is the 12 Steps, the fellowship,  and working with others, where am I with my program?

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