The primary consideration in Herthelan national symbolism is the fact that each of the seven nations is governed by one of the seven great Angels, or Janyati and her symbolism is fundamental to the symbolism of the nation. This is naturally reflected in the nation’s flag as well as in its other national emblems.
All national flags in Sai Herthe are made up of the three primary colors, yellow or gold (or), red (gules) and blue (azure). the significance of these colors is discussed in our essay on the Imperial flag. Of the seven national flags, three use all three colors, two use yellow/gold and red, and two use yellow/gold and blue. There is no flag that uses blue and red only. This is partly because of the heraldic law which states that one cannot impose a tincture on a tincture or a metal on a metal. Red and blue are tinctures, and yellow is actually the metal gold. Thus the charge or device on any flag or shield must be a metal if the field is a tincture, or a tincture if the field is a metal. The more important metaphysical reason for the absence of a red/blue flag is that, Sai Herthe being governed by the Solar Empress, the Solar metal, gold, must never be absent from the flags of her nations.
Four of the Westrenne nations also have an important numerological symbolism. Newcomers to Chelouranya and Outlanders sometimes have the impression that the nations of Vintesse, Trent, Kadoria, and Quirinelle are loosely “based on” the Tellurian decades of the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s respectively. This explanation is natural enough for a newcomer or outsider and is enough to get her started with the concepts, but in fact the truth is closer to being the other way about. These four decades, in a very loose and vague way, represented in Telluria four fundamental aspects of the “modern” or “Art-Neo” spirit. Their numerological significance was largely lost owing to the complete atrophy of traditional science in Telluria by that stage and was represented merely in the numbers of the decades, since it cannot fail to be expressed in some form, and the entire manifestation of the Art-Neo world-outlook galloped past in a few short decades in what appears to have been a headlong dash of the Western world into the Pit.
In Sai Herthe these important possibilities of the “modern” spirit were much more thoroughly manifested, not through brief time-periods but through four great nations that have thoroughly manifested the four main aspects of the Art-Neo sensibility. Art Neo, as is explained in The Feminine Universe, is not merely an artistic movement but a form philosophy that allows human and spiritual dignity to be expressed through the forms of a machine age rather than allowing the weight of “iron” (using that term in both its physical and metaphysical senses, which, of course, are always connected) to drag it into the Pit. In Telluria, Art Neo was never anything more than a “blind aesthetic” — by which we mean that, important as the aesthetic element was, the underlying philosophy that it implies was never expounded owing to the complete dominance of the culture at this stage by substantialist thought. In Sai Herthe, however, the Art-Neo aesthetic is accompanied by a thoroughgoing philosophy that makes of the “modern movement” an extension, albeit a lesser one, of traditional metaphysical Truth.
Janya: Sai Sushuri
(Element: Water; Metal: Copper; Number: 5; Tellurian analogies: 1950s, Venus)
The Flag of Quirinelle depicts the five-pointed star of Sai Sushuri in gold on a laterally divided field, the upper part being red and the lower part blue.
The title Star of the Sea — Stella Maris — is one of the names of Dea, especially in Her maternal or Sushuric aspect. It is given to the Virgin Mary, though in this case it comes from Ishtar/Inanna. Aphrodite, like many forms of Dea in Her Maternal aspect, is depicted emerging from the sea. Thus the flag of Quirinelle shows the blue sea below the Star of Sai Sushuri.
Sushuri (Venus) is also known as both the Morning Star and the Evening Star. Thus the Star of Sai Sushuri is shown against a red sky such as that seen at sunrise and sunset.
The Quirinelle National Anthem begins:
Where the great tides of history swell
Where the Heart of Love
Guides us from above
And where all things are well.
Being the most Westerly of the Westrenne nations, Quirinelle is strongly influenced by the historical current and the adaptation of Tradition to the “modernism” of the West. It is the land of the Sunset, and yet it never loses its connection with the Sunrise of the Primordial Tradition. The fact that this is expressed with a marine metaphor is emblematic of Quirinelle’s close symbolic association with the sea. The Heart of Love refers, of course, to Sai Sushuri, the guiding Star of Quirinelle and the Janya of Love; and by extension to Dea Herself in Her Maternal aspect.
And all these things are signified in the beautiful flag of Quirinelle.
Janya: Sai Vikhë
(Element: Fire; Metal: Iron; Number: 4; Tellurian Analogies: 1940s, Mars)
The flag of Kadoria depicts a blue cross outlined in gold on a red field.
The Kadorian flag is the one red flag of Sai Herthe, red being the color of Sai Vikhë and also of fire and iron (iron oxidizes to red as copper does to green). Red (in its negative-Vikhelic aspect) being the color of conflict, instability, and destruction, it is no accident that red flags have been used by Tellurian revolutionary movements, and also as danger signals. However, since the red, or Vikhelic, influence in Sai Herthe remains part of an integral traditional culture, it has never been a baneful or disruptive force.
The charge, or device, on this flag is a cross, which is clearly related to the Kadorian number four. Four and, in some of its aspects, the cross is a figure of consolidation and earthiness. We shall see the orthogonal cross used very much in this sense on the flag of Arkadya. This relates to Kadoria in that red is the lowest color of the spectrum and the Iron Age the lowest and most consolidated period of the historical cycle.
At the same time, fire is a vital and unstable force, and the Vikhelic, or Martial, principle relates to conflict and movement. Thus the Kadorian cross is a diagonal one, representing a synthesis of fourfold consolidation with movement and instability. We see this combination in its negative aspect in the patriarchal Iron Age in Telluria, and especially in its final phase, when the movement toward materialism and excessive solidity is combined with disruptiveness and chaos. In Sai Herthe, the positive combination marries military order and discipline to the spirit of courage and adventure.
The sign of Sai Vikhë, in its Herthelan (and original) form, incorporates a cross at an angle of 45 degrees, like the Cross of Kadoria (see Signs of the Angels, the Intemorphic Sexes).
The diagonal cross also reflects the crossed swords, a timeless symbol of military conflict in which the crossing is always diagonal, and the cross in its aspect as a barrier or defensive shield against outside attack: for the military spirit in Sai Herthe is never directed inward, toward attacking one’s own kind, but always toward defending the Empire from the Outlander.
Janya: Sai Thamë
(Element: Earth; Metal: Tin; Number: 3; Tellurian Analogies: 1930s, Jupiter)
The flag of Trent consists of a gold “fleur de lys” on a blue field edged with a gold frame toward the perimeter.
Blue is the color of Sai Thamë, and blue and gold her most characteristic combination of colors.
The fleur-de-lys or fleur-de-luce (flower of light) is a very ancient motif with connection both to the lotus and the Tree of Life. In many representations the Lotus is the Throne of Dea, and some interpretations of the Trentish flower see the central petal as Dea standing upright amidst the petals: the Jewel in the Lotus.
The Divine Lotus also represents the flowering of manifestation upon the waters of all-possibility (prakriti) and thus the entire ordering of the manifest world: all these themes are fundamental to our understanding of the Royal Janya, Sai Thamë, who is the ruler of all harmony and order in the Divine-centered universe.
The central petal may be seen as the Divine Ray itself striking the waters whereupon manifestation is represented by the two outer petals. This reflects the image of Dea standing upright upon the lotus, as is often seen in depictions of Sri Mahalakshmi. This symbolism depicts the number 3 as 1+2 — that is, the Divine Principle, which is singular, giving rise to all the dualities of manifestation.
The association of the Trentish flower with the primordial Tree is also significant. In the West, Sai Thamë is associated with the Archetypal Tree, the Oak (our very word “tree” comes from a word meaning “oak”). In the Far East, the Day of Sai Thamë, Thursday, is ruled by the element of Wood (interestingly, just as wood is the only organic element in the Eastern system, so the flag of Trent is the only Herthelan flag to bear an organic device).
The framing or bounding of the blue field with gold indicates the “pale of civilization”, the proper boundary within which the Empire rules and beyond which lies the barbarism of the Outlander, and, metaphysically, the Outer Darkness.
The Trentish flag is thus the flag of Royalty and order, as befits the central nation of the Westrenne Empire.
Janya: Sai Candrë
(Metal: Silver; Number: 2; Tellurian Analogies: 1920s, the Moon)
The flag of Vintesse has a horizontally divided field, half yellow, half blue. The charge is a lunar crescent with the points upward in the colors of the field counterchanged.
The themes of this flag are clearly lunarity and duality. We have an image of the sublunary world where all things are in a state of flux and change and where things are seen with the two eyes of lunar reason rather than the single eye of Solar Intellect; thus all is divided into dark and light, yin and yang, meli and chela (“brunette” and “blonde” sexes).
In her highest aspect, Sai Candrë, the Moon, is called the Great Priestess and is the ruler of earthly priestesses and the type of Our Lady as Priestess of the World; for the Moon stands between Earth and Heaven, mediating Heaven to Earth and Earth to Heaven. This is precisely the function shown in this image, with the Moon appearing suffused with Heaven’s golden light on the field of Earth and with Earth’s darkness on the field of Heaven. She is the Mediatrix who stands between Dea and maid, being both Dea and maid. She is the Bridge Who leads from Earth to Heaven, and the Barque of Swift Crossing (the resemblance of the horned moon to a boat is another minor aspect of its symbolism).
Thus the flag of Vintesse speaks both of the inherent duality of the world and the resolution of that duality by the mediated Light of Heaven.
Stylistically, the counterchanged image, with its perfect line and curves, represents the quintessence of Art Neo — Vintesse being the home of Art Neo par excellence — but counterchanging is also a very traditional heraldic technique, reminding us once again that true Art Neo is simply the application of traditional form within a new milieu. Once again, the resolution of duality — in this case of the apparent duality between the modern and the traditional — forms the theme of the Vintesse flag, just as this very resolution is the whole purpose of Westrenne Sai Herthe in general and of Vintesse in particular.
The Vintesse flag is the only one that is laterally asymmetrical, and it should be noted that the yellow field always flies closest to the mast, symbolizing the light from the Solar-summitted World-Axis being mediated even to the Outer Darkness.
Janya: Sai Mati
(Element: Air; Metal: Quicksilver; Number 12; Tellurian Analogies: The Future, Mercury)
The Novaryan, or Novarian, flag depicts a red sun on a yellow field, with triple rays extending to the edge of the field in the four cardinal directions.
The Novaryan flag is yellow — the color of Sai Mati. The Sun represents the Solar Intellect of which Sai Mati in her highest aspect is the representative, and indeed the Solar nature of the Matic Intellect allows this flag to be a sort of analogy to the Solar Standard of the ancient Caeran Empire: a flag that is still used by those Estrenne Ranyams that are regarded as successors to Caere and by the symbolic nation of the Great East.
The analogy of flags is intentional, as Novarya, with its largely Estrenne population, regards itself as the Westrenne incarnation of the Estrenne Solar Empire, as is explicit in the first verse of the Novaryan National Anthem:
In the East Sai Raya rose aloft
And rode across the skies
And the rays that blest
The golden West
Bade great Novarya arise.
The four triple rays indicate the expansion and application of the Solar Intellect in all directions: an ideal that has found its application in the enormous technical advances made by Novarya. While Novarya is far ahead of Telluria in technical matters, its science, unlike that of Telluria, is not founded on a revolutionary rationalism that denies traditional wisdom in the name of a purely physical “natural science”, but is the extension and application of traditional metaphysics in new technical spheres.
The idea that Novarya completes the current Historical Cycle which begun in the ancient East is indicated also by the analogy of its design to the year — the year being the pattern of all historical cycles. The rays of the Novaryan Sun are in four groups of three, like the four three-month seasons of the year, each, like the , belonging to one of the four cardinal directions, while the fifth season and thirteenth month of Moura is represented by the central Sun itself.
While fiercely loyal to the Westrenne Empire, of which it regards itself as the most direct servant, the Novaryan flag, like many other trappings of the Novaryan Ranyam, shows a consciousness of Novaryan completeness, as if Novarya were, in a certain sense, a little Empire of its own.
Janya: Sai Rhavë
(Metal: Lead; Tellurian Analogies: Victorian/Edwardian Eras and Earlier, Saturn)
The flag of Arkadya, or Arcadia, has a dark blue field with a dark red orthogonal cross composed of wide bands and surrounded with a thinner outline in gold.
While, strictly speaking, Azure is Azure and Gules is Gules in a heraldic description, traditionally the red and blue of the Arcadian flag are often of a deeper shade than on the other flags, as depicted here. This goes with the weight and solidity associated with Sai Rhavë, as does the orthogonal cross of a decidedly heavy and solid design.
In terrestrial terms, Sai Rhavë governs solidity, foundation, construction, as well as discipline and even severity (in which respect she can be paired with Sai Sushuri as the pillars of mercy and severity with Sai Thamë as the balance between them). The vertical beam, as we have discussed on other occasions, represents the World-Axis — the Divine Principle that descends from the highest Heaven to the lowest level of being — while the horizontal bar represents the outward development of a particular world, created, as all worlds must be, by the Celestial influence represented by the vertical ray.
Viewed “horizontally”, the cross represents the outward development of a world system in all four cardinal directions of space. In this case it is the Center of the cross that represents the point of the descent of the World-Axis from which all being within a particular universe proceeds.
It must be realized that both Arcadia and the Great East are unlike the other five nations in that each of them is larger than all five combined and that, while they are theoretically part of the Westrenne Empire, only their Westerly parts are actually in contact with the Empress of the West. Their flags, which are used by different nations and even Empires much further east, represent Universality rather than the particularity of the five Westrenne flags, since for millions of people (Sai Herthe has not the vast population of Telluria, so our people are not numbered in billions) they represent the Empire.
The Great East
Janya: Sai Raya
(Metal:Gold; Tellurian Analogies: Pre-patriarchal history, Asia, the Sun)
The remarks made toward the end of our entry on the Arcadian flag apply a fortiori to the flag of the Great East. This is in fact the flag of the Caeran Empire, which is the founding Empire of the current historical era in Sai Herthe and was established some 3,300 years ago. The Great East is not a nation in the sense that the others are and has no single Queen, being really a term for the East seen as embraced by the Westrenne, or Nevcaeran, Empire. The extent to which this embrace is accepted and acknowledged by the Estrenne nations is too varied and complex to enter into here. Suffice it to say that the Great East under the old Rayannic, or Caeran, flag is symbolically the seventh element of the Nevcaeran Empire.
This flag is used by several Eastern Princesses whose realms and monarchies are held to be the direct descendants of Caere. Because Westrenne technics are not effective far to the east, travel and communications between the West and the further East are very limited. The situation is thus not one of conflict and confusion, but of different arrangements prevailing in different places.
The rays of the sun combine both the orthogonal and the diagonal cross, representing the extension of a world order in all possible directions of material space, while the governing Celestial principle is represented by the central Sun. This expresses the Imperial ideal: both the early mission of the Caeran Empire to expel the outlander and establish the Divine Order throughout the Herthelan lands and the later task of unifying and administering the widespread Empire.
The heart in the microcosm of the body is the incarnation of the sun in the macrocosm of the universe, and just as the sun supplies the surrounding world with warmth and light necessary for life, so the heart supplies the whole body with its life blood. Thus the Sun of the Imperial flag is also the Solar Heart of the Empire, and the rays are like the many paths to and from the Holy City of Caere. The saying “All roads lead to Caere” has a clearly metaphysical significance, as does the designation of such roads as “arterial”.
The Caeran Imperial Flag represents, at the highest level, Dea as the Supernal Sun at the center of Her created universe and, at the lower or “political” level, the Imperial City providing the lifeblood of the Empire, the maternal nourishment of civilization and order. One may also note here a reflection of the relation between wisdom and method (often illustrated by the parallel of the blind maid carrying the lame maid — for the blind maid has the material power to walk, being Method or Substance, and the lame maid has the spiritual power to see, being Wisdom or Essence). The arterial rays transmit the life light or lifeblood of the Spirit to the Empire, while the arterial roads also bring material support — food, goods, servants, etc. — to the Capital.
The Solar Center represents the Celestial City at the heart of the Empire, the Temple-Palace at the heart of the city, the Imperial Throne at the heart of the Palace, the Solar Empress, Incarnation of the Sun, at the heart of the Throne, and the Divine Solar Heart — the essence of her incarnated ancestral divinity — at the center of the Empress herself.
The two colors of the Caeran Imperial Flag represent the qualities of the sunlight (gold) and warmth (red) which are respectively Wisdom (or Solar Intelligence) and Love, the two Divine Nutrients of the Empire.
The Imperial Flag
It will be clear that all the remarks we have made about the Solar-maternal-arterial Imperial symbolism of the Caeran Imperial flag apply equally to the Westrenne (or Nevcaeran) Imperial flag, which, indeed is essentially a Western version of the original Imperial Flag.
The main differences between the two are firstly that rather than widening slightly from their central to their exterior points (representing the material expansion of the spiritual principle as it radiates outward into a world), the rays form perfect orthogonal and diagonal crosses; and secondly that the flag is blue rather than gold, introducing a “cold” and “heavy” element into the light and warmth of the Solar flag.
For this there are a number of reasons. As we have noted elsewhere, the three primary colors are related, in one aspect, to the three gunas: yellow to the upward and spiritual tendency of Sattwa, red to the outward and expansive tendency of Rajas, and blue to the downward and consolidating tendency of Tamas [read more about the three gunas here]. As has been explained in The Feminine Universe, Tamas becomes more prominent toward the last millennia of a historical cycle, and while Sai Herthe has not had a fully Tamasic Era like that which began in Western Telluria following the 1960s, the influence of the downward tendency does become an increasingly potent factor in the latter days of the cycle. Thus the flag depicts, rather than a world irradiated by Divine Solar Light, a cold darkness that is penetrated, warmed, and illumined in all directions by the influence of the central Sun.
Another reason for the blue field is that this flag is particularly associated with Imperial expansion and is used especially in the context of Herthelan territories that are away from the continental mainland, whether on outlying islands or in the aethyr, thus the penetration of the Celestial rays into space or across the waters is an aspect of the symbolism of this standard. This also is why its use has been granted to Chelouranya, which, since Operation Bridgehead in late 2005 (3325), has been recognized as a distant protectorate of the Motherland.
As one becomes more familiar with the flags of Sai Herthe, the complex and interlocking symbolism, which is one with the Primordial metaphysical philosophy itself, begins to crystallize and become a part of one’s consciousness. Here we have touched only on the surface of this symbolism, but we have given the essential principles from which all else must follow. It is no exaggeration to say that in the Flags of Sai Herthe, for those who can read their symbolism in all its depth and ramifications, we may find the Book of the Universe.
On a more everyday level, each flag helps to symbolize and ritually actualize our relation to the nation(s) that each of us Tellurian Herthelani, adopted – or exiled – daughters of the Empire, regards as her own: and beyond the individual nations, the great Solar Standard, with its wonderful spiritual symbolism and its promise of order, beauty, femininity, and righteousness, is the very flag of our hearts, even as the great Solar Sun in its center represents the Mother-Heart of the Universe which is one with the heart in each of us (this is why we make reverence to each other and pronounce the greeting Rayati: “Hail to the Sun (in you)”.
Those of us who have never felt at home in the rude and masculinized world of late Telluria see in the Solar Standard the flag of our home, our heart, our one true Motherland.