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What do all of the civ insignias mean?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Keejus, Oct 13, 2011.

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  1. Keejus

    Keejus Prince

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    Moderator Action: Attention, we have an overview HERE.

    I've been trying to find a list of the insignias and their symbolism, but I've never been able to find any discussion of them whatsoever, so I ask here. I know some of them, like Rome having a wreath of laurels and the Aztecs being from the sun stone, and Denmark's being the Snoldelev triple horn, and so on, and for some I know the symbol but don't really get the significance (like why is the Greek insignia the letter Omega?), and some I just haven't been able to find.
     
  2. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    If you line them all up next to each other in alphabetical order... and apply an R/G/B filter while reading them upside down through a kaleidoscope... you reveal a secret subliminal message in Esperanto. It's translated below.

    Spoiler :
    Buy more DLC.
     
  3. truenarnian

    truenarnian Emperor

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    I'll give it a shot...

    America - The shield is a standard shape in representing military in Western culture. The stars and stripes are from the national flag.

    Arabia - The crescent and star are symbols of Islam, the de facto regional religion of Arabia.

    Aztec - The symbol is a stylized sun, the iteration of which is a very simplified version of a fairly standardized design within Aztec art.

    China - Dragon. I believe it is a symbol of both power and good luck in most Asian cultures.

    Egypt - Eye of Ra, the sun god.

    England - The crown of the monarch.

    France - Fleur-de-lis - a highly stylized flower design most-often associated with France and francophone settlements in North America.

    Germany - The Iron Cross.

    Greece - Omega, the final letter of the Greek alphabet. It has the connotation of the final, or ultimate iteration of a set or series, and therefore death, or the end of time.

    India - A stylized dharmacakra - a buddhist symbol representing a wheel.

    Iroquois - I am not entirely sure about the diamond, but the spikes represent the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, I believe.

    Japan - A chrysanthemum - a royal symbol.

    Anyone want to finish? I have to do homework...

    I simply did a Google search (followed by an image search) using "_______ national symbol" or "______ cultural symbol" and found most of them fairly easy...
     
    Ryansinbela likes this.
  4. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    Can also be interpreted as 'the omega' being the victor, the conqueror, the ultimate power. The last one standing, as it were.
     
  5. sukritact

    sukritact Artist and Modder

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    It's more commonly known as the Eye of Horus actually...
    I think it looks more like a sakura, not sure though.

    Russia: The Russian Coat of Arms
    Rome: A Laurel Wreath, a symbol or martial victory in rome.

    Not sure they all have meanings though, I can't figure out siam's, and I'm thai!
     
  6. shihuacao

    shihuacao Chieftain

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    It is a part of Oda clan crest, which is a papaya.
     
  7. HammerandSickle

    HammerandSickle Warlord

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    The Ottomans: the Ottoman insignia during some part of it's history.
    Spain: a cross...
     
  8. juicegecko

    juicegecko Chieftain

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    I'm guessing Spain's cross is based upon this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Cross

    Also, Mongolia is a stylized version of a spirit banner. The Inca is also some kind of cross I think, but I can't say for sure.
     
  9. turingmachine

    turingmachine Emperor

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    America: Stars & Stripes (American flag)

    Arabia: Star & Crescent (Symbol of Islam)

    Aztec: Tonatiuh (Aztec sun/sun god)

    Babylon: Mushussu/Auroch/Dragon motif (Found on the Ishtar Gate)

    China: Chinese dragon head (Represents the emperor, auspiciousness, and potency)

    Denmark: Valknut/Snoldelev Horn (Probably related to death/Odin/glory)

    Egypt: Wadjet/Eye of Horus (Symbol of protection, royalty, and power)

    England: Imperial Crown (The British monarchy/empire)

    France: Fleur-de-lis (Heraldic symbol of the French monarchy)

    Germany: Iron Cross (Symbol of the German army)

    Greece: Omega (End of the Greek alphabet; symbolizes the end, last, ultimate) [Personally, it doesn't really have anything to do with the Greek Empire and they could have chosen a much better symbol)

    Inca: Chakana (The four cardinal directions and their midpoints--divinity, eye of god, lesser extent the sun; the most pervasive Inca symbol still used in modern times)

    India: Ashoka Chakra (Symbol of India)

    Iroquois: Stylized Haudenosaunee flag symbol (Eastern White Pine tree & Hiawatha's wampum belt)

    Japan: Mokkō (Oda clan mon)

    Korea: Taegeuk (Symbol of Korea)

    Mongolia: Soyombo symbol (Symbol of Mongolia representing eternal growth, wealth, and success. The three tongues of the flame also represent the past, present, and future)

    Ottomans: Variation of the Star & Crescent (Specifically symbol of the Ottoman Caliphate, 1844–1923)

    Persia: [Probably stylized Shamshir (scimitar meaning "lion's claw;" lion holding a curved blade were heraldic symbols of Iran; double scimitars are also symbols of Islam) or a representation of the Zulfiqar (Personally, they should have gone with a more Zorastian symbol to represent the Persian Empire)]

    Rome: Laurel Wreath (Represents Caesar and the Roman Empire)

    Russia: Double-headed eagle (Heraldic symbol of Russia)

    Siam: [I'm not really sure about Siam, maybe it's supposed to be a stylized Dharma Chakra].

    Songhai:

    Spain: Asturias Cross/Victory Cross (Symbol of Spain and Catholicism)

    [I have no idea for Songhai.]
     
  10. juicegecko

    juicegecko Chieftain

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    Oh, right, chacana, that was it. Got it totally wrong about the mongol one though, for some reason it reminded me of the tug.
     
  11. sukritact

    sukritact Artist and Modder

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    Would make sense, it has the right number of prongs for the Dharma Chakra.
     
  12. Khagan1

    Khagan1 Chieftain

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    Well google search is useful in terms of reflecting what is in popular culture but in deeper research we see different results.

    You actually faced one of the most general misconceptions about Islamic culture and Arabian culture. What we know as "Islamic" now is the result of combined cultural elements from Turkic, Persian and Arabic traditions. Arguably, Arabian impact survived only in language and alphabet today whereas other elements come from mostly peripheral cultures.

    In insignia case, the crescent, star and other celestial elements are definitely derived from Turkic culture. One of the main characteristics of Turkic steppe/nomad life was sky cult and entire ritual and belief system was based on it. One can observe this in every single Turkic culture all over the Eurasia thus the Ottomans' insignia is three crescent. Actually they never used it like family crest or imperial flag but all of the military signs contains either crescent or eight-point star which is the oldest insignia in steppe culture.

    With the domination of Turks over the Islamic world at 12th century, Islam started to represent a new cultural style and therefore in Anatolia a new kind of syncretic Islamic belief emerged (Sufism and shamanic practices) by the impact of dervishes from Turkestan. That is to say, what we know "Islamic" today can originally be element of Turkish culture.
    Especially In Europe, Image of Islam depends on two cultures: Andalusian/Umayyad and Ottoman/Turkish culture since they had the closest relationship with European continent. But obviously Ottoman impact is more recent and still determines the orientalist imaginations of people about Islam.

    I know this information does not effect game experience too much but since op wants to reveal insignia facts, I write this to change general misunderstanding.

    Ottoman royal family dates back to 13th century and their descendants still alive as Osmanoğlu (Son of Osman).

    But Ottoman Caliphate started at 16th century by the Ottoman conquest of Egypt and the decline of Mameluke dynasty. Sultan Selim I (Yavuz) was the first Ottoman caliphate. On March 3, 1924, first president of Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk abolished the institution and that was the end of Caliphate.
     
  13. turingmachine

    turingmachine Emperor

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    I know the Star and Crescent symbol didn't originate as a symbol of Islam but has its origins in Anatolia. I was suggesting that the reason why it was used as the icon for Arabia is specifically because today it's highly associated as a symbol of Islam and by association Arab nationalism regardless of its origins.

    I meant that the banner of the Ottoman Caliphate was the three crescent symbol between ~1844–1923 not that the caliphate began on 1844.
     
  14. Khagan1

    Khagan1 Chieftain

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    I certainly understand your point, I only tried to reveal misunderstanding about symbols regardless of your intention. :D

    It's very funny to me that, although people associate crescent and star with Arabs, in reality none of Arab nations, nationalists or even Arabian associations had ever implemented those symbols.
     
  15. Art Grin

    Art Grin Emperor

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    Except that Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia and Egypt use or used the crescent and star on their national falgs.;)

    This is probably another reason they chose those as the Arab symbol as it is associated with Islam an common among Arab flags.
     
  16. Khagan1

    Khagan1 Chieftain

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    Well Egypt and Iraq used to have stars in their flags but stars didn't stand for Islam but rather they were symbols of socialist Ba'ath party hence Syria (last Ba'ath regime in Arab world) still has those stars in its flag.

    For Northern African countries, they have adopted the crescent and star from the time of Ottoman rule. Tunisian flag is almost a copy of modern Turkish flag. Old Egyptian flags also had red background and one or three crescent with stars as they were ruled by Turkic dynasties from 10th century.

    It is very hard to find any symbol that would represent Arabian culture and I found it very natural to choose star and crescent. But as you can see it is not even close to Arabian culture.

    Maybe Zulfiqar, the famous sword of Ali can represent Arabs but it can also cause a religious conflict (Shia vs. Sunni). :undecide:
     
  17. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Yeah, Iraq never had a crescent on their flag (the closest was the proposed and then abandoned flag). Is the sword on the Saudi flag supposed to be connected to the Saudi Monarchy or is it an older symbol?

    To me, it still feels the best fitting symbol for in game.

    The shield for America looks based on the Great Seal of the United States, btw.
     
  18. Khagan1

    Khagan1 Chieftain

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    The sword in Saudi flag is not an older symbol neither a family crest. It is just a symbol to accompany the script (Shahada) I guess, since it has no cultural reference. Perhaps Al-Saud family wanted to show its rebellious history.

    The only cultural part of the flag is green background which was the military standard of Prophet Muhammad. So the green color theme perfectly fits to Arabs in game.
     
  19. Ermak-

    Ermak- Prince

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    Mongolia - the Willson volleyball from movie 'Cast Away'. No , really- it really is :)
     
  20. anandus

    anandus Errorist

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    Songhai is quite difficult.

    The only thing I can find that vaguely resembles the symbol is a flag of 'New Songhai', an island in an alternative history :p
     
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