Vexillology: The Flags of the Sundered Marches
As I warned two weeks ago, we couldn't make update today. Sorry. Doing our best to avoid that for the future. But we do still have content!
As you may have noticed, this design has already popped up a few places on the site; it is the flag of the Lanvan Revolutionary Aerie, and so, the colors under which they fight. Due to my limited artistic abilities and also the principles of basic flag design, I wanted a design that was simple and easy to recognize from a distance, but also had meaning for our characters.
Lanva is located in a deep and extremely large crater, encircled within the Meteora Mountains. These mountains act as a rain shelter, but most are so impossibly high that they have glaciers on their peaks, meaning that they also are the origin of many rivers which criss-cross the crater. Combined with the tropical climate, the result is a land of arid heat and rolling savannahs that occasionally crumble to desert. What's more, Lanva is a land of great mineral wealth; alchemical substances that are rare anywhere else are in plentiful abundance in the soil, flora, and fauna.
As such, the flag reflects the environment of Lanva. The sun is ever important; the red sky symbolizes sunset, a welcome reprieve from the oppressive heat of the afternoon, yet with enough light to do your business by. The white is the gleaming horizon, representing what lies next, and the golden field is both the simple appearance of the prairie and the symbolic prosperity that the march can bring its inhabitants.
The unusual length of the flag (with a 2:1 ratio) is a result of the fact that this design is a modification of the Margrave of Lanva's family standard; family standards are typically extremely long, with a 4:1 ratio, unlike the 3:2 ratio common for a nation-state's flag. The Lanvan Revolutionary Aerie is technically only one of the rebel militaries, that of Lanva March, and an outgrowth of the Margrave's personal army.
However, the last few Margraves have been famously absentee, leaving most matters to the Lanvan House of Burgesses. Furthermore, Lanva is the richest and most defensively situated of the marches; it's also one of the four eastern marches, where the bulk of the fighting is. With the current occupation of Glorin March, it has become the de facto leader of the rebellion. Not everyone is happy about that fact.
The Reclaimed Empire of Duvencht is one of the premiere powers on the continent. It was unquestionably stronger than its nearby rival of Giralnia at the beginning of the 19th century, but the ravages of plague followed by the rebellion have had some questioning that status lately.
Duvencht is the oldest and most established of the nearby nations. Long before the present era, there was a great war between humanity and the gods; while all the gods are said to have perished, it was a pyrrhic victory for humanity. For countless years, the surface world was rendered completely uninhabitable; the scattered survivors went underground, living only through the guidance of a handful of witches.
The year 0 on the Imperial Calendar is the traditional date when the local remnants of humanity are said to have emerged from the caverns below to resettle the surface world. The Vencht Mountain range proved to be one of the earliest places that was safe enough to be resettled. Safe enough and safe are not the same, however. It took hundreds of precarious years for the Empire to gain a solid foothold against the monsters and hostile environs of the surface world; thus, the white sword on a dark background represents the constant battle against darkness the Empire once engaged in, trying to make the land safe for humanity once again. Land that has been 'reclaimed' is represented by the white field. Though the sword is pointed downwards now and is said to be at rest, over the ages war-time variants have been depicted with an upwards pointing sword.