In this case, that symbol is now gone.
Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down as president of Egypt.Note: For the people of Egypt, the youth in the streets and the long-suffering advocates of democracy, this is just the first step on a long road; one that may branch with some choices a dead end... but... at least one path leads to real freedom.
In an announcement on state TV, Vice-President Omar Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the military.
Mr Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the high command of the armed forces.
"In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country," he said.
"May God help everybody."
Mr Mubarak has already left Cairo and is in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has a residence, officials say.
Now the real work to reach that goal begins in earnest.
"May God help everybody", indeed.