Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by Transparent Blue, Oct 4, 2009.
Drawing a blank at the mo!
Go ahead and post, or PM me if you want to run a few queries past me.
Flag Challenge 209: You Will Come as a Lightning:
Design a flag for any classical or medieval empire, after having been reduced to a rump state, survived, rejuvenated itself and expanded to include the bulk of its former realm.
The PoD shall not be after 1900.
The new flag shall not be identical to the flag used during the empire’s first golden age.
Submissions Close: 23:59 GMT 17th August
Voting Opens: 18nd August
Voting Closes: 24th August
Is the question too hard?
It's only been a day. Give it time.
As you mention a pre1900 POD I assume postReformation empires are allowed?
White Standard of the Sassanid Empire
The history of the Sassanid dynasty in the aftermath of the Muslim invasions had long been one of a long series of tragic fortunes, subservient relations and living on the run. And yet, it is one of the most spectacular revivals in human history, one facilitated by cunning and pragmatic leadership, immense patience and critical opportunities. While Muslim scholars long scorned the resurgence of the virtually vanquished rulers of Zoroastrian Persia, the accounts of the incompetence of the Shahs during the rise of the Islamic caliphates were not unfounded. But the reversal of roles on the part of the Umayyads and Sassanids was to shape the fate of the Middle East and the greater known world.
The story of the Sassanid Empire in the aftermath of the defeat in Nahavand could have ended then and there. Abandoned by his governors and fleeing east to Khorasan, Yazdegerd III tried without success to raise another army to combat the pursuing Arab invaders. Hated by the locals, he was nearly assassinated in Merv by a local miller in late 651, an incident that shook him so greatly that he holed himself up in his citadel in Khorasan for the rest of his ultimately short life. Falling upon his son Feroz and grandson Narsieh, the rump Sassanid domain found itself at the mercy of its Hephthalites allies, and later, the Tang dynasty. It would not be until the late 740s to 750s that any opportunity to reclaim any part of Persia finally came, though the reclamation of Persia as a whole would not be completed until much later.
Educated in the Tang court and by Persian exiles, Narsieh had long been groomed to take the crown. At the time, the Sassanid court had holed itself up in the fringes of the former empire, in Merv and Khorasan, though the former would be lost to the Arabs around the turn of the century. From their remaining power base in Khorasan, the Sassanids hoped to regain Persia with Chinese aid, paying tribute to Emperor Gaozhong. True enough, the chance came in 744, when word of civil war against the Khajirites in the Umayyad caliphate began to trickle into Khorasan. Appealing for aid from the Tang, Narsieh, with the aid of the esteemed general An Lushan, advanced upon eastern Persia. Well aware of the vulnerability of his eastern borders, Caliph Marwan II attempted to placate Narsieh with cessations along the border. Only the withdrawal of the Tang reinforcements to deal with the Turkic tribes compelled the Shah to make peace. Despite gaining few lands in the invasion, the new Shah had nonetheless acquired much prestige, and more importantly, hope for a restored Sassanid empire. Such was the growing dread of a pagan resurgence that both the Abbasids and Umayyads attempted to appeal for his aid in exchange for more territories. By the end of the Abbasid revolt, Merv, Khorasan, Kirman and Bactria were back in Sassanid hands, though the border between the Muslim and Zoroastrian realms would continue to be contested for the next two centuries.
The state banner under Shah Yazdegerd V, depicted in records on the final reconquest of Persia in the 900s, had long been a source of speculation for contemporaries and modern historians. The standard, pictured with a Simurgh, had often been claimed by European contemporaries to possess hidden Christian symbology, owing to its cross-like shape and pattern surrounding the Simurgh, as well as its white background and gold borders. Indeed, rumors of Yazdegerd V's Nestorian sympathies or even conversion were widespread, with many claiming that he had baptized in secret on his deathbed. However, modern historians have since dismissed such speculations, pointing out that his policies of tolerance towards both the Nestorian Christians and the Iranized Muslims were far from unusual among Persian rulers. In any case, historians had since accepted the more commonly held perception of Zoroastrian symbology in Persian and Arab sources, with the purple torch holding both the Simurgh and the red flame around it.
I didn’t want to include any modern colonial empire, that would be good for another challenge.
I’d say yes. The renaissance and reformation didn’t change social structure that much. People still had feudal obligations to their counts and lords in Hapsburg Austria as they had in protestant Hohenzollern Prussia.
German colonial empire in Africa, for instance, was a totally different beast on its own. It’s not what I want a flag for.
The same goes for non-western empires. A revived Japanese southern dynasty would count as “medieval”, but to resurrect Japanese Empire of 1943 shall be considered as “modern” imperialism.
The Kingdom of Prussia
Fall and Rise
Prior to the Napoleonic Empire, the new Kingdom of Prussia seemed poised for greatness. A series of blunders however saw its initial gains divided among its enemies and cadets, the kingdom itself reduced to the Old Duchies and Pomerelia, a near vassal of Russia and Sweden.
Then came the death of the Emperor Napoleon and the collapse of his empire. Sweden then Britain promoted the expansion of Prussia against a resurgent Denmark and Russia in turmoil.
The Polish Revolt saw the addition of Netzen & Posen districts as a Swedish guarantee of the independent Kingdom of Poland.
British mediation saw all Pomerania added in exchange for recognition of Denmark up to the Elbe and Mecklenburg.
War with Saxony saw the Hohenzollern-Potsdam rulers defeated and the Duchy of Brandenburg added.
Barring minor border changes during the Great War this has been the extent of the Kingdom of Prussia.
Eagle, Sun, and Stripes
The Flag developed from that used following the division: a black & white horizontal stripes bearing the Prussian Arms of a black eagle on white.
Varying stripes were used by the King and Royal Armies; the civil administration tending to use 3, the Royal Standard reverting to a plain white field.
The Sun developed from the ornate golden fimbriation used around the arms. With the annexation of Brandenburg celebratory flags turned the fimbriation into rays of the sun. This proved so popular when reused during the Great War it was officially added to the design.
Yes, it does.
3 days to go
Sorry, I don't think I'll be entering this time - a combination of sorting things out for the first week of school next week, a family birthday and dealing with a very bad cough has left my brain unable to come up with any ideas.
Well, real life is always more important. It's okay, hope you all the best.
Because of how I created it I'm not sure of its size. Is it within the 600x1200 pixels rule? Nor too small?
It's 310x186 so well within the size rule. Big enough to see it clearly, so no particular need to make it bigger.
Thanks. I've made some minor adjustments to the striping and increased the size only a little.
Flag of Restored Ming Dynasty
Prior to its collapse in 1644, Ming Dynasty was once one of the great empires and arguably, the most powerful empire in the world. But that all changed when the rebel leader Li Zicheng led the revolt and overthrew the dynasty and founded Shun Dynasty in its place, ruled north of the Huai River. The remnants of the Ming imperial family and some court ministers sought refuge in the southern part of China and regrouped around Nanjing, south of Yangtze River. They formed as Southern Ming consolidated south of Huai River.
One prince arose and ascended the throne in Nanjing as the new emperor, a dynamic and able leader by most accounts; he ruled with firm but just hand, improved the welfare of his subjects at the same time gaining Pro-Ming supporters, building up his armies and leads resistance against the Manchu invaders. Battles between the Ming and the Qing have come to the standstill.
Few years later, with support of capable commanders the likes of Koxinga and rising Anti-Qing sentiments, the Restored Ming forces have retaken much of southern China from the Manchu Qing in 1656 and, forcing the Manchu Qing to retreat north of Huai River. The two dynasties settled for a truce between them, already tired of fighting, they’ve eventually settled that the Huai River will be the borders between the two dynasties of China, no different from Jurchen Jin and Song dynasties. The Restored Ming Dynasty opened-up to the world, courting potential allies and improving mercantile trade relations which led to the modernization of the Ming Empire in catching up to the West.
Until the Taiping rebellion in 1850 following the weakening of Qing authority, the Ming Dynasty took advantage of the Qing civil war and conquered all of China under their rule, forcing the Qing to retreat into their native homeland of Manchuria. It is the time the land of China is truly ruled by the Chinese. The Ming Empire lasted in the modern era until the bloodless constitutional revolution overthrew the dynasty and be replaced by a more progressive regime and a different flag. The Restored Ming openness and ingenuity have led to the developments which led China to become one of the world’s modern superpowers.
Red Golden banner of Great Ming
The imperial flag of Restored Ming, in the middle of the yellow circle is the Chinese ideogram ‘明’or Míng, meaning bright in Chinese. Yellow represents imperial colour, prosperity and most importantly, emperor of China. Red is Chinese traditional colours for good luck and blood.
Well, my brain appears to have woken up again, so here goes:
Flag of the North Sea Empire, 1145-1403
Despite the defeat of Harald Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, the rulers of Denmark and Norway continued to covet this rich land, but in-fighting amongst themselves left Cnut the Great's North Sea Empire split amongst many different rulers. But the dream remained.
The rise to power of Eric II of Denmark (Eric the Unforgettable) saw a resurgence of Danish influence. He joined forces with enemies of Magnus IV of Norway (Magnus the Blind) and was acclaimed king of Norway in 1136. After some years of civil war, all the other claimants to the Norwegian throne were either dead or in exile, with Eric now undisputed king of both lands.
At the same time as Eric was asserting his right to both these crowns, the death of Henry I of England led to civil war there as well, as Stephen of Blois and the Empress Matilda competed for the throne. The Anarchy lasted for many years and devastated large parts of the country.
In 1143, Matilda's half-brother and main supporter, Robert of Gloucester, was died when his horse slipped and fell crossing a ford. On the defensive, Matilda sought help from other sources. It is unclear whether her envoys approached Eric or if he saw a chance and offered support to her. Regardless of who approached whom, in early 1144 Eric landed in South Yorkshire with a substantial force (some sources claim he had over 15,000 men but it is generally believed that his army was about 9000 strong).
Eric's intervention was critical. Matilda's forces now had the upper hand and campaigned across much of southern England simultaneously, laying siege to castles and towns held by lords loyal to Stephen. The use of 'scorched earth' tactics by both sides increased, leading to starvation and outbreaks of disease across much of the land.
Early in 1145, Stephen was killed in an ambush en-route to Lincoln. Matilda, however, did not live long to enjoy her 'victory.' Both she and her 11-year old son died of an unidentified disease whilst travelling to London for her coronation as Queen and his as junior King.
Eric was quick to take advantage of the now unclear succession. Since his initial landing, he had gained the support of many of the northern lords and as a result could call on far greater forces than anyone else. He occupied London and instructed scholars there to seek out records of 'the lineage, descent and ancient right of the King of Denmark, Norway and the Faroe Islands to the crown of England as descendant of Cnut the Great.' Records showing his right to the throne were quickly located and he was crowned King of England on 16th August 1145.
An examination in 1991 of the only surviving record of the 'right' of the Kings of Denmark to the throne of England, apparently dated 1098, showed it to have been written over another document. In 2009, researchers at the University of Leiden recovered the wording of this other document, proving that it had been written some time between 1139 and 1142. It cannot be conclusively proven that Eric had the document forged, but if he did not order it himself, one of his supporters obviously did.
The rejuvenated North Sea Empire of Eric II proved to be longer-lasting than that of his forerunner Cnut. Though Eric himself died only 14 years later, the personal union lasted for another 150 years.
The empire's flag is first recorded in the Gelre Armorial, alongside the flags of its constituent countries (Denmark, Norway and England).
The flag has the red cross of England superimposed on the Danish Dannebrog, with the three leopards (lions passant guardant) of Denmark in the lower-left corner. Unlike the leopards in the Danish coat-of-arms, these are uncrowned. The centre of the combined cross forms a celtic cross, surrounded by four gold roundels. This combined symbol was seen on the reverse of coins issued by Cnut the Great so is likely to be in tribute to him. The top left of the flag contains a dove, symbolising how the empire united three Christian realms in peace. Scholars dispute whether this was always a dove or whether it started as a raven, recalling the raven banners borne by Viking armies, including those of Cnut and Harald Hardrada. One early armorial describes the bird as a raven volant argent, lending strength to this argument. It is possible that the raven was changed to a dove in an attempt to distance the new empire from the pagan past, but that the first doves were similar in form to the old ravens. As there are no clear examples of the earliest flags, we will never know.
Image(s) created by FriendlyGhost using paint.net. Free for use on this site (alternatehistory.com) as long as you credit me (@ my username is fine). Use on other sites is also permitted as long as you PM me here to let me know.
Dove extracted and slightly amended by me, from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CoA_Knox_College_Dunedin.svg, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.
Leopards amended and recoloured by me, from 'Lion Passant Guardant (2)' by unknown author, on this page: http://heraldicart.org/lion/.
All other parts of the image created by me.
Edit 17th August: added a bit more about the symbolism of the dove, changed the flag to swallowtail.
We have new challengers!
Separate names with a comma.