often symbolizes parliamentary procedure.
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies and other deliberative assemblies.
In the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other English-speaking countries it is often called chairmanship, chairing, the law of meetings, procedure at meetings or the conduct of meetings. In the United States, parliamentary procedure is also referred to as parliamentary law, parliamentary practice, legislative procedure or rules of order.
At its heart is the rule of the majority with respect for the minority. Its object is to allow deliberation upon questions of interest to the organization and to arrive at the sense or the will of the assembly upon these questions. Self-governing organizations follow parliamentary procedure to debate and reach group decisions—usually by vote—with the least possible friction.
Rules of order consist of rules written by the body itself (often referred to as bylaws), but also usually supplemented by a published parliamentary authority adopted by the body. Typically, national, state/provincial and other full-scale legislative assemblies have extensive internally written rules of order, whereas non-legislative bodies write and adopt a limited set of specific rules as the need arises.