Evolution in Flags and Symbols
A fag is the symbol of an organised society. Populations need a token of union, purpose, and associated effort, which can be held aloft and made visible to all. The standards, banners and flags are throughout history used to signify personal, family, local, or national existence. Strictly speaking, the ancients had no flags, but rather banners or symbols.
In relatively modern times, European and Asian history is testament to what happens when nationality has been attained, through subordination of the throne and monarch to the desires of a nation. The overly elaborate feudal insignia of the once ducal or royal family gave way to a simpler form of design, less rich in family symbols but more striking in color and more easily recognised.
Historic instinct of tradition to associate new symbols with ancient prestige was still strong and with the rule of the whole commonwealth, rather than of its single leader. In France, parent of so many noble precedents, the return was made after the Revolution, from the medieval lilies of Bourbon to the vertical tricolor – which is, the blue, white and red of the Gallic uprising, in the fifth century, against Roman invasion.
These three colors seen in many world flags — the blue, emblematic of Heavenly Law and Divine majesty; the white, of purity of soul, intention and compelling motive; and the red, of human blood and devotion, seem to have been associated with the earliest efforts of European freedom. Nor have later ages ceased to honour as favorite colors, the red, the white and the blue. Devout souls saw in the red, white and blue a sign of the Holy Trinity, in the name of which so many treaties under the Holy Roman Empire were signed.
Flags are also drawn from mythology or fairytale creatures, the eagle, the lion, the dragon were favorite emblems, because significant of dominion, concentrated strength, swiftness, power, or endurance. Or, it was sought to express the ideas of authority at home and power abroad by significant letters, wreaths, or emblems representing a strong local bond of common interest, like the S. P. Q. R. (Senate and People of Rome). Or, some favorite legend was cast, or embroidered. In every case, for military use at least, the form was brief, simple and impressive, so that the symbol could be easily recognised.