Questions tagged [symbols]

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What are the two symbols on top of the tower on the Charles Bridge in Prague?

What are called the two symbols of (probably) rotating Sun located on the top of the tower on the Charles Bridge in Prague on the Old Town side? Each of them is depicted to rotate in different ...
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4 votes
0 answers
148 views

Was there an alchemical symbol given for pitchblende?

In 1789 Martin Klaproth isolated uranium from pitchblende for the first recorded time, however uranite was used in dying glass in the first century. Through the age of alchemy, I have not been able to ...
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14 votes
5 answers
4k views

What is the practical origin of the "fasces" icon?

The fasces symbol dates back at least to the Etruscans, signifying "from many, one" as well as "strength through unity". It is ubiquitous from Roman era iconography to late ...
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1 vote
1 answer
668 views

When and why did blue become the colour of the British Conservative Party?

In Britain at Elections Conservative Party candidates always wear blue rosettes and Conservative posters usually feature the colour blue, so that even if someone does not stop to read the poster they ...
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3 votes
1 answer
198 views

Were hag stones ever engraved?

I found a hag stone the other day and am planning on stringing it as an amulet. My research indicates such amulets were in use over much of Europe, particularly Western Europe, as well as Egypt and ...
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4 votes
0 answers
179 views

What’s the meaning of the rabbit in the talons of an eagle?

Eagle House, in Mitcham, south west London, England, was built around 1706, probably for Fernando Mendez a royal physician. On top of two brick piers at the front of the house is a statue of an eagle ...
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4 votes
1 answer
814 views

What does this image symbolize or mean and who is in the image?

Aztec painting shown below sent to me by a friend trying to figure out who it is in the image, as well as what the image itself represents or symbolizes and the meaning behind it all as well as the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does anyone recognize this signature from Lord Rayleigh's "The Theory of Sound"?

I was reading from Rayleigh's "The Theory of Sound" from 1877, and one of the first pages is dedicated to this signature which is given a proud position in the center of the page.
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6 votes
2 answers
415 views

Was Swastika a universally-recognized symbol of fascism as early as 1925?

In the Soviet sci-fi film "Napoleon Gas" of 1925, there is a secret society, called "Fascist Order Black Klan" in the United States. The order's uniform seems to be similar to that ...
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7 votes
0 answers
151 views

Do these depictions of hunt in medieval Catholic churches have the same symbolic meaning? If not, what is it?

I have come across 3 depictions of a hunt in Catholic churches. The first two are tiles that were on the floors of an English abbey and a church not far from Reims, France; I could not find any ...
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3 votes
2 answers
454 views

Are there churches that belong to the German Armed Forces?

Yesterday, while walking through Graz, in southern Austria, I noticed an old church. I noticed it because it had a big symbol painted over its entrance door. You might have seen this symbol in WWI and ...
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5 votes
1 answer
607 views

What is the meaning of the quadruple symbols combination on a possibly Roman monumental piece?

During my visit to a village central western part of the Asia Minor I saw monumental pieces. Which were emplaced on some part of the buildings by villagers. I see a sword, sickle (hook), pickaxe, and ...
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5 votes
2 answers
135 views

Help me identity the symbols on this relief?

Could somebody please help me identity the symbols on the relief below? This is a memorial plaque in Vienna. It shows a former city judge and mayor of the town “Gross-Jedlersdorf” (today the 21st ...
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30 votes
1 answer
6k views

In this cartoon from Puck, what indicates the identities of France and Britain?

According to Wikipedia, the participants in the naval arms race depicted in this cartoon are (clockwise, starting from the man in the blue jacket) the United States, Germany, Britain, France, and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
253 views

What is the origin of heraldic buffalo horns?

Büffelhörner or Buffalo Horns are quite common in Scandinavian and German heraldry (called Vesselhorns in Danish), "although virtually unknown in other heraldic traditions", where they usually only ...
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7 votes
1 answer
206 views

Does any of John Sutter's tin money survive?

John Sutter was a Swiss settler and investor in the late Mexican era of California. I have only seen secondary sources on the matter, but apparently his colony New Helvetia had bespoke coinage: ... ...
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3 votes
1 answer
810 views

Why doesn’t Cuba's flag have any communist symbolism?

The wikipedia page on the flag of Cuba says:- It is one of the two flags of a currently socialist country (the other being Laos) that does not use any Communist Symbolism. The symbolism is (from ...
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1 vote
3 answers
1k views

How does a heraldic eagle become a nazi symbol?

The Heraldic Eagle, or Reichsadler is still to this day used as the coat of arms of the German empire. Its use in the coat of arms, and on German symbolism generally picture an eagle with curved wings ...
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11 votes
8 answers
6k views

What are some symbols representing peasants/oppressed persons fighting back?

I am curious if any groups prior to the 20th century (meaning that the peace sign is excluded) had a symbol to represent their revolt against an oppressor. One could imagine branded slaves turning a ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this tool/thing in an Aztec painting?

In between the warrior on the right, and the serpents in the center, is a small object. I’ve circled it in blue. This is from page 57 of the Codex Borgia. Full scans can be seen here. What is it? ...
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11 votes
1 answer
426 views

Was red associated with "stop" or "danger" before railroads?

The automobile street signal colors of red and green were adopted because those colors were already in use by the railroads. Was the color red associated with "stop" before railroads? Was it ever ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What were the rejected designs for the Euro symbol?

The Euro symbol (€), supposedly but not certainly designed by Alain Billiet, was selected from a pool of proposals. According to a very official-looking document from europa.eu: Some thirty drafts ...
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16 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the history of the check mark / tick mark?

Wikipedia has an interesting article on the meaning of the check mark "✓" in different cultures. In the English-speaking world, "✓" generally has a positive connotation — "yes, OK, correct, ...
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4 votes
0 answers
848 views

What is the history of the "surrender" gesture?

The surrender gesture seems to be obvious to us - you drop your weapon, put your hands up and maybe drop to your knees or even prostrate yourself. But were those gestures universal across the globe ...
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30 votes
6 answers
7k views

What are the text and subtext of this 1949 Soviet cartoon?

Over on Wikipedia, we find this cover from the March 1949 issue of Soviet satire mag Krokodil: The person who uploaded it to Wikipedia captioned it "Antisemitic caricature of rootless cosmopolitan." ...
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  • 1,547
3 votes
1 answer
240 views

What do the knight figures in the Kehlsteinhaus fireplace symbolize?

The Kehlsteinhaus, also known as the Eagle's Nest, is a villa for diplomatic receptions and a mountain retreat for Adolf Hitler built in 1938. There is a marble fireplace in the main room, which was ...
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2 votes
0 answers
114 views

What did Boston shoemakers do with cattle brands?

In the Mexican era, whole cattle hides were California's principal export. To prevent theft law enforcement sometimes checked the brands on hides before they were exported by sailing ship. Most went ...
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16 votes
4 answers
10k views

Why is the color red associated with communism?

The color red is traditionally associated with communism. You can find it in the flags of the Soviet Union and China, and the Red Star is a a common symbol in communist countries. Why is the color red ...
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What was the reason for the Ottoman empire to adopt the crescent moon as its flag/coat of arms?

The Ottoman empire used the crescent moon as its symbol extensively. Any reasons for the symbolism? I have read references to polythesim of Turks contributing to the crescent and star (which predates ...
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