Saturday, January 17, 2009

esperanto flag, symbolism

Origin and symbolism of the flag

The Esperanto flag: green 2:3, white 1:1 canton with 0,35 radius green 5 pointed regular star pointing upwards centered on it.
António Martins, 04 Jun 1999

Esperanto organizations and individual esperantists use this flag as a general symbol of their language; variants defaced with organization names and slogans, written on the bottom half of the flag, are usual. Some organizations, especially those whose logo or emblem is based on the green star, put it on the canton of an otherwise unmodified esperanto flag (see particular variants).
António Martins, 14 May 2004

According to [rod97], both a star and the green color were associated to Esperanto quite early, following a call for it from B. G. Jonson, a Swedish Esperantist. Louis de Beaufront (who later become adept of Ido) proposed and initiated the usage of publishing books written in Esperanto with their covers green and with a star on it. The idea caught on and soon the green color and the star symbol were all over in Esperanto written books and periodicals. However nothing was fixed for the exact design of the star neither for its color — it was often golden, on the green background.

In 1893, were used the first lapel pins with a green star on a white background, by C. Rjabinis and P. Deullin, in a design used until today. The meaning of this symbol was, as usual, coined a posteriori — said to stand for the hope (green) of the five continents untited (5-pointed star) in common understanding and peace (white color)…

António Martins, 04 Jun 1999

The pentagon and the five-pointed stars were supposed to symbolize the five continents and the 'five races' of mankind. In a bow on top and at the bottom the flag got the names in English and French for the League of Nations.
Jarig Bakker, 10 October 1999

D: perhaps looking at the League of Nations flag will help.

Five continents, five RACES. I think we moderns squirm a bit at the mention of race.

Still, the League flag at least is not so demonstrably northern-hemisphere-centric as the UN flag.

I have pondered what a flag for a language I (knock on wood) will make might look like.

Any map will inevitably imply some sort of geographical superiority for one region.

But an abstract shape typically looks a bit like some ancient geometric occult symbol.

First of all, there are technically SEVEN continents.
D: Yup, an occult reference to alchemy exists.

I did like the olive wreath of the UN symbol though.
The blue color that appears in the background of the insignia was chosen to be "the opposite of red, the war color". The original color the group chose in 1945 was a gray blue that differs from the current United Nations flag.
The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world.

The olive crown was a constant reminder that much was expected of its recipient. He was a symbol of the highest moral values of the time in which he lived, and it was incumbent on him to speak and act in the finest traditions of aidos.

D: more "arete" (excellence, sans accent) than peace, originally.

The earlier version had the globe 90 degrees turned eastward compared with the present flag. According to press statements, the change was made to move North America away from the centre of the emblem.[6]

D: LOL! Does that mean in 2035, when the Chinese economy is TWICE the size of the USA economy, we hafta put China dead centre? [=

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

As the "International Year of Languages" comes to an end on 21st February, you may be interested in the contribution, made by the World Esperanto Association, to UNESCO's campaign for the protection of endangered languages.

The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2008.

The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations' Geneva HQ in September. or