The symbol (義) has broad inner content, and includes values such as justice, honesty, loyalty and reliability. It is composed of 羊 (sheep) on top and 我 (I, myself) on the bottom. The sheep is obedient and kind, and mutton tastes good and is nutritious.
Given those characteristics, the sheep was considered to be a symbol for good luck and prosperity. “我” was originally developed from the oracle bone script where it denoted a fighting implement with a sharp tooth. 我 and 羊 going to together to make 義 can be interpreted literally to signify “I am a sheep.”
It means that it is possible to make sacrifices in the name of justice, similar to sacrificing a sheep to honor the gods. The Chinese character 義 reminds people how they should be conduct their lives, that is, selflessly. 義 belongs to a special category of ideograms, called huiyi characters (multiple meanings brought together); they are composed of ideograms with different meanings and their inner contents are a fusion of the several meanings.
– The Epochtimes