I'm trying to put off work on my Flat Black
site by fussing with the details of Imperial symbols, badges, and crests.Watsonian issues
In the history of my SF RPG setting Flat Black
, the colony Mayflower was founded by the American government in the early 22nd century. Achieving early success, it attracted immigrants from all over Earth from the middle of the 22nd century, and from the mid 23rd to the destruction of Earth in the mid-24th it was one of a scant handful of populous and prosperous colonies that attracted numerous "just plain folks" migrants with no especial taste for pioneering and no radical social or political agenda. Mayflower was racially, culturally, socially, and politically cosmopolitan, but its first half-generation of American pioneers had a founder effect in its institutions, society, and culture. Among these effects was the use of an eagle as a sovereign symbol.
The FTL drive was invented by a Mayflowerite, Tomitomo Eichberger, and he established Eichberger Spaceways and the Eichberger Foundation as interstellar private organisations. That is, he didn't use the eagle as a symbol. But after the destruction of Mayflower the survivors in the Space Guard of Mayflower and other deep space outfits joined with the survivors in the Eichberger Foundation to fight the Formation Wars. Which means that when the wars ended and the Empire was constituted to resolve the conflict, the eagle was established as a symbol of one of the former combatants, and was not considered proper for the new composite institution. In the early days of the Empire, when the Senate still imagined that it was going to be in charge of the government, the Empire chose badges and crests for its institutions and branches that symbolised Imperial sovereignty without referring to the Roman, HRE, Habsburg, German, or Russian eagle.
So what other prominent symbols are there of Imperial sovereignty? A crown, obviously. The Byzantine dragon? The Chinese Imperial dragon with five toes on each foot? Capitoline Jove, with oak wreath, globe, and thunderbolts (but with Victoria rather than the eagle)? A chrysanthemum?
I suppose that although Eichberger did not use the oak-and-mountain symbol that his name suggests, nor the arms of the village whence the name derives, nor indeed an oak, acorn, or oak-leaf symbol in any form, that his posterity are capable of working out what his name originally meant, and that Imperials are fond of oak and acorn motifs as symbols of their ethos.Doyleist issues
I want the Empire to come out with a strong tang of the British Empire, which includes having semiotics reminiscent of the British Empire. So I have decided that I want a crown as a common symbol. And I want it to have the general shape of St Edward's Crown, not a mitre-shaped Austrian or Russian Imperial crown, and not with eight half-arches like a Spanish or Portuguese Imperial crown. Because I am lousy at graphic design and worse at art, I have used British symbols in some mock-ups and considered supposing that some 29th-century graphic designer did an image search on "crown heraldic" and simply adopted St Edward's crown without changes. But that really isn't satisfactory. The fleurs de lys and crosses patée on the circlet of English crowns are specifically symbols of the English monarchy, and I don't want to use them. And the cross surmounting the globus cruciger at the top of the crown is a specifically Christian symbol. I could assert that it is re-interpreted or misinterpreted as an "Earth" symbol (♁), but (1) the early Imperial Senate was not on board with the Earth-obsession that developed in Imperial culture, and (2) I don't think that is the correct form of the glyph anyway, it ought to have the cross in
A kind fellow on another board mocked up a possible Imperial crown for me, thus:
JEX87lT.png [ 105.02 KiB | Viewed 404 times ]
Unfortunately I'm not completely happy with it, but in no position to ask for more work on it.