Definition of Some Symbols
Some people seem to think that the red cross which is used as a symbol by the American Red Cross and International Red Cross is a Christian symbol – and therefore that these organizations are Christian in character. I don’t know why, but these people don’t seem to realize that cross are and have been used as symbols outside of Christianity. Media Matters reports: [A]ccording to the American Red Cross website, it was “[i]n honor of the Swiss … that] the symbol of a red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) was identified as a protective emblem in conflict areas. ” While the cross on the Swiss flag originated in the 1200s from “a symbol of the Christian faith,” according to the Swiss Embassy in the United States, the Red Cross makes no mention of Christianity as a reason for adopting the symbol. …
In addition to stating that its symbol was chosen as the reverse of the Swiss flag, the American Red Cross website adds that “[t]he Red Cross idea was born in 1859, when Henry Dunant, a young Swiss man, came upon the scene of a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy,” and that the “emblem was adopted at this first International Conference as a symbol of neutrality” at the first-ever Geneva Convention at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1864. Media Matters put up this information to explain how Bill O’Reilly was incorrect to use this as an example for why it’s wrong to remove the large Christian cross from Mt. Soledad in San Diego. O’Reilly isn’t the only person who thinks that the red cross is a Christian cross, though — that appears to be a belief held by many Muslims and why Muslim organizations use a red crescent. Vehicles with a red cross on them might be targeted as a Christian vehicle in wrong place. Thus, Christians like Bill O’Reilly who are trying to defend Christianity are making the same mistakes as non-Christian terrorists who would like to attack Christianity. The irony of this is truly astounding.
It is confusing because most people think of a “cross” as the Christian symbol, the murder weapon. The cross or plus sign on the Swiss flag is actually a symbol of the Christian faith as well so the red cross flag, a symbol which is derivative of the Swiss flag, is also a Christian symbol. The plus sign is in all aspects a cross in the religious sense and does represent a specific religion on the Swiss flag as well as the red cross symbol. I might as well be in the shape of the murder weapon itself more traditionally presented by religious people.
There is a red crescent flag and a red star of David flag as well, clearly religious symbols which were made as alternatives it the Christian cross or plus sign on these flags. Identification * The red cross symbol is a four-armed cross that resembles two perfect rectangles placed to look like a cross. There is no lettering, and the symbol usually appears on a white background. Significance * The symbol is the international sign for medic. It is associated in the U. S. with the American Red Cross, a nonprofit aid agency that helps those in need, regardless of their ability to pay.
History * The cross was one of many symbols used to signify medic until the introduction of firearms to battle and the increase in casualties. Henri Durant designed the red cross as we know it today after witnessing tens of thousands of soldiers left dying on the battlefield with no one to help them. As I understand it, the red cross was a symbol designed to identify medical personal during wartime – it was meant to be a symbol of protection. It is a reversal of the Swiss flag, in honour of the Red Cross founder, Henry Dunant, who was swiss.
So nurses and other medical personal wore a red cross to identify themselves. Nursing was at the core of the Red Cross movement from its inception. Nowadays, the Red Cross has come to be associated with disaster relief and other humanitarian efforts. the red cross represents many things such as unity, peace, hope, and the color of our blood The crescent moon and star is an internationally-recognized symbol of the faith of Islam. The symbol is featured on the flags of several Muslim countries, and is even part of the official emblem for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The Christians have the cross, the Jews have the star of David, and the Muslims have the crescent moon, right? What is the history behind the crescent moon symbol? What does it symbolize or mean? How and when did it become associated with the faith of Islam? Is it a valid symbol for the faith? The crescent moon and star symbol actually pre-dates Islam by several thousand years. Information on the origins of the symbol are difficult to ascertain, but most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of sun, moon, and sky gods.
There are also reports that the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana. The city of Byzantium (later known as Constantinople and Istanbul) adopted the crescent moon as its symbol. According to some reports, they chose it in honor of the goddess Diana. Others indicate that it dates back to a battle in which the Romans defeated the Goths on the first day of a lunar month. In any event, the crescent moon was featured on the city’s flag even before the birth of Christ. The early Muslim community did not really have a symbol.
During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islamic armies and caravans flew simple solid-colored flags (generally black, green, or white) for identification purposes. In later generations, the Muslim leaders continued to use a simple black, white, or green flag with no markings, writing, or symbolism on it. It wasn’t until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol.
Legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty. There is speculation that the five points on the star represent the five pillars of Islam, but this is pure conjecture. The five points were not standard on the Ottoman flags, and as you will see on the following page, it is still not standard on flags used in the Muslim world today. For hundreds of years, the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Muslim world.
After centuries of battle with Christian Europe, it is understandable how the symbols of this empire became linked in people’s minds with the faith of Islam as a whole. Based on this history, many Muslims reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. The faith of Islam has historically had no symbol, and many refuse to accept what is essentially an ancient pagan icon. It is certainly not in uniform use among Muslims. Why We Look Up – Lascaux is a World Heritage Site and late Upper Paleolithic cave complex in southwestern France that belongs to the Magdalenian Culture.
Lascaux’s cave paintings were made c. 15–18,000 B. C. The sophistication of the Lascaux cave paintings is extraordinary when considered against their great antiquity. Their subtlety, complexity of technique and metaphor are qualities we can immediately relate to. The full articulation of this cave art reveals a mind akin to our own. If time and language barriers could be set aside, it is very possible that Magdalenian people of the late Upper Paleolithic would understand us, and that in return we could understand them. What do these great paintings tell us?
Aurochs and other large animals portrayed in Paleolithic cave art were often hunted for food. The act of painting them in a sacred cave has often been interpreted as an important element in a ritual that invoked sympathetic hunting magic. The act of a painting the animal sends a message to its spirit, that great respect is intended and that only those individuals essential for tribal survival will be hunted and killed. The spirit world and the gods are asked to ‘understand’ and not penalize the human sphere. The act of painting, the actions and protocol by which these paintings are executed, is the ritual.
The finished painting is a record of the ceremony. It is a static reminder of the bond between the spirit world and humankind and of the obligations each ‘world’ owes to the other. We do not know if these great animal paintings were prayed to. We do not know if Paleolithic religion venerated and prayed to icons. Read more at http://www. environmentalgraffiti. com/sciencetech/what-the-lascaux-cave-paintings-tell-us-about-how-our-ancestors-understood-the-stars/15506#r9dA81UrDttvubS6. 99 What do these great paintings tell us? Aurochs and other large animals portrayed in Paleolithic cave art were often hunted for food.
The act of painting them in a sacred cave has often been interpreted as an important element in a ritual that invoked sympathetic hunting magic. The act of a painting the animal sends a message to its spirit, that great respect is intended and that only those individuals essential for tribal survival will be hunted and killed. The spirit world and the gods are asked to ‘understand’ and not penalize the human sphere. The act of painting, the actions and protocol by which these paintings are executed, is the ritual. The finished painting is a record of the ceremony.
It is a static reminder of the bond between the spirit world and humankind and of the obligations each ‘world’ owes to the other. We do not know if these great animal paintings were prayed to. We do not know if Paleolithic religion venerated and prayed to icons. At the beginning and end of time, all the ‘worlds’ are integrated and melded into an indescribable whole and ‘oneness’. This final and beginning state of reality is the adamantine bliss of yoga and Buddhist cosmology as typified by the god Brahma. It is often created by the cosmic dance of the multi-armed Shiva.
It is everything and nothing, timeless and beyond words. Read more at http://www. environmentalgraffiti. com/sciencetech/what-the-lascaux-cave-paintings-tell-us-about-how-our-ancestors-understood-the-stars/15506#r9dA81UrDttvubS6. 99 Lascaux – Hall of Bulls / panorama Norbert Aujolat – CNP/MCC This is the deep layer of meaning in many Paleolithic cave paintings that goes beyond sympathetic hunting magic. This is a multidimensional, mythological layer whose journey in the millennia to follow will connect with Stonehenge as a future article shall discuss.
This deeper layer is also metaphysical and mathematical, and relates to the adamantine oneness of Vedic, Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The complexity of mind revealed in late Upper Paleolithic cave art is akin to that expressed much later in history by ancient Vedic philosophers whose art form was Sanskrit poetry. Mathematical aspects in late Upper Paleolithic mythopoetics derived from observational astronomy. Some cave paintings recorded an understanding of the path the moon takes around the sun – the ecliptic. An understanding of the ecliptic leads to the discovery of the zodiac, the annual path of the sun through the celestial sphere.
A construct for the zodiac then follows, in which it is divided into twelve sections later known as ‘houses’. Stars, moons and planets in Upper Paleolithic culture are not the stars, moons and planets of modern astrophysics that we know. They are deities whose habitat is the Milky Way and the celestial sphere. Mathematics is art, as Plato knew well. If the annual journey of the sun, moon, visible planets and some very bright stars can be tracked and recorded with enough precision to enable accurate prediction, then the human ‘world’ has understood a great deal about the gods.
We are no longer passive because we know where these celestial entities go during their year’s sojourn and what those journeys portend for life on earth. The gods do not travel alone, nor are they unconcerned about human welfare. We are their acolytes and worshipers, and the only beings that can nourish the gods. We are the only sentient beings beside the gods themselves. This is not a child’s game where Paleolithic astronomer-shaman-priests looked into the night sky to find the silhouettes of familiar animals in the geometrical arrangement of stars in the night sky.
We can be fairly confident that star gazing at night was not frivolous. It was a search for realities that were believed to exist. What might be those truths? These early artifacts and cave paintings reveal a deep conviction that there was a spirit world inhabited by deities, and that some or all of that ‘universe’ was above us and was celestial. Another portion of the universe was below, an ‘underworld’ that was the antithesis of the celestial. The ‘world of the gods’ was not chaotic. Observational astronomy was the premier empirical science of the time.
Astronomer-priests discovered that the ‘world’ of the gods was multidimensional and precisely organized by number and time. Pattern through time, provides consistency, a belief in structure and the possibility for prediction down the time track of the future. Look up, think and perhaps the manifestations of several deities can be seen, if they wish that to be seen by humans. When the Late Paleolithic astronomer-priests found the gods in the heavens, they confirmed that the gods do wish to be seen by us, that their celestial form is recognizable and stable, and does not change from night to night. Dr.
Michael Rappengluck of the University of Munich has long believed that Magdalenian Culture of the late Upper Paleolithic in Europe looked at the night sky and ‘saw’ the Milky Way. They also discerned several bright, prominent arrangements of stars which could be described and integrated into a mythology. These arrangements of stars were the first constellations to intrude into human culture. Organized into a celestial landscape that winds its way through the Milky Way and upon which the Sun will travel, the earliest Zodiac had been found and mapped. As Plato said about mathematics, it is not an invention of human genius.
It has always been there, waiting to be discovered. Lascaux – Two Aurochs / Taurus, Scorpio Photo – Prof saxx / Wikipedia The two aurochs that face each other were aligned with arrangements for the constellations of Taurus and Scorpio. They also correspond to the rising and setting opposition of two fixed stars: a) Aldebaran, which is the eye of the bull in the constellation Taurus; and b) Antares which is in Scorpio. Understand that there are several aurochs depicted on the cave walls in the Hall of the Bulls, but only one depiction of the constellation Taurus the Bull.
Why do the Bulls predominate, why is Taurus the dominant constellation? Taurus is not the Solar God unless we make him so. The eye of the auroch that is Taurus is the supergiant star Aldebaran in the center of the constellation. The open star cluster Hyades encircles, and the Pleiades is above, the shoulder of Taurus. Culture would be the behaviour – context would be anything else eg climate, geography, raw materials and technology available. So smoke signals would reflect a culture and the fact that on open plains you can see such signalling..
Cave paintings are the root of traditional illustration, one the earliest of which has been in recent news, a ‘faint red dot’ dated to more than 40,000 years ago. These were discovered in 11 caves in Spain, and results show that they are at least 15,000 years older than we first thought. It raises many questions; What are they trying to say? Who made it? Is it symbolic? Who was it made for? No matter what the answers are, illustration is a means for people to convey information, a means of visual communication.
The purpose of these cave paintings are unknown, and we can only speculate as to their actual purpose. A time well before printing press, but the value of visual communication has lasted through the ages. One thing that is for sure is it was some sort of communication via visual aids, they had a purpose and had something to say. As you understand from the title, this blog is going to be about the History of Visual Communication Design, that actually had started many many years ago… First of all, visual communication means, “the communication of ideas throufh the visual display of information.
Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: art, signs, photography, typography, drawing fundamentals, colour and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability. It is part of what a graphic designer does to communicate visually with the audience. ” (from http://www. citrinitas. com) History of Visual Communication Design has actually started with the paintings on rocks and caves in Europe with Cro-Magnons, who form the earliest known European examples of Homo-sapiens.
It is known that they are descending from populations of the Middle-East and lived from about 40,000 to 10,000 years ago in the Paleolithic period of the Pleistocene epoch. Cro-Magnons were anatomically modern. They are only different with their partly stronger physiology and brains that have larger capacity than that of modern humans. After they arrived in Europe (about 40,000 years ago), they brought sculpture, painting, body ornamentation, engraving, music and decoration of utilitarian objects, there.
Tools that were survived by Cro-Magnons comprise of huts (small dwelling), carvings, cave paintings and antler-tipped spears (weapons). By the way, antler means horn of animals in the deer family, so we know that they used to hunt animal not only for food, but to make weapons, too. The remains also suggest that these people knew how to make woven clothing. More over their huts were constructed of rocks, bones, clay, branches and animal fur. It is possible that Cro-Magnons have created the first calender around 15. 000 years ago, with their knowledge of painting pictures with manganese and iron oxides.
Cave Paintings “Cave or rock paintings are paintings painted on cave or rockwalls and ceilings, usually dating to prhistoric times. Rock paintings are made since the Upper Paleolithic, 40,000 years ago. It is widely believed that the paintings are the work of respected elders or shamans. ” They mostly used to draw/paint large wild animals, like bisons, aurochs, horses, deers and tracing of human hands. Of caurse they have depicted abstract forms, too. ” (from http://www. citrinitas. com) Researchers think that cave art may have