The rector’s regalia and the university’s coat of arms are symbols of the university’s unique status in society, signifying its autonomy and academic freedom. From the founding of Vilnius University in 1579, these attributes have been used during formal ceremonies: the start and the end of the school year, the defense of doctoral theses, the welcoming of high-ranking visitors, and the celebration of state and church holidays. Their symbolic value was equal to that of royal insignia. In this publication we will describe the main elements of these attributes, their creators and uses during different periods in the university’s history. We will emphasize the importance and continuity of this material cultural heritage in identifying the university as an institution with a long history and traditions and in providing its community with symbols of identity.