Maandelijks archief: mei 2009

Roundel

600px-Roundel_of_the_Belgian_Air_Force.svg

A roundel in heraldry is any circular shape; the term is also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours. In heraldry, a roundel is a circular charge. Roundels are among the oldest charges used in coats of arms, dating from at least the twelfth century. Roundels in British heraldry have different names depending on their tincture. Thus, while a roundel may beblazoned by its tincture, e.g., a roundel vert (literally “a roundel green”), it is more often described by a single word, in this case pomme (literally “apple”, from the French).

The first use of a roundel on military aircraft was during the First World War by the French Air Service.[citation needed] The chosen design was the French national cockade, which consisted of a blue-white-red emblem mirroring the colours of the Flag of France. Similar national cockades, with different ordering of colours, were designed and adopted as aircraft roundels by their allies, including the British Royal Flying Corps and the US Army Air Service. After the First World War, many other air forces adopted roundel insignia, using different colours or numbers of concentric rings to distinguish them.

Some corporations and other organizations also make use of roundels in their branding; employing them as a trademark, or logo.

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Round Table

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The Round Table is King Arthur’s famed table in the Arthurian legend, around which he and his Knights congregate. As its name suggests, it has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status. The table was first described in 1155 by Wace, who relied on previous depictions of Arthur’s fabulous retinue. The symbolism of the Round Table developed over time; by the close of the 12th century it had come to represent the chivalric order associated with Arthur’s court.

During the Middle Ages festivals called Round Tables were celebrated throughout Europe in imitation of Arthur’s court. These events featured jousting, dancing, and feasting, and in some cases attending knights assumed the identities of Arthur’s knights. The earliest of these was held in Cyprus in 1223 to celebrate a knighting. Round Tables were popular in various European countries through the rest of the Middle Ages and were at times very elaborate; René of Anjou even erected an Arthurian castle for his 1446 Round Table.

The artifact known as the “Winchester Round Table,” a large tabletop hanging in Winchester Castle bearing the names of various knights of Arthur’s court, was probably created for a Round Table tournament.[10] The current paintwork is late; it was done by order of Henry VIII of England for Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s 1522 state visit, and depicts Henry himself sitting in Arthur’s seat above a Tudor rose. The table itself is considerably older, dating perhaps to the reign of Edward I. Edward was an Arthurian enthusiast who attended at least five Round Tables and hosted one himself in 1299, which may have been the occasion for the creation of the Winchester Round Table

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The letter O

patroniolettero2

O is the fifteenth letter of the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /oʊ/) is spelled o; the plural is oes, though this is rare.

The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin (eye), which represented a consonant, probably the voiced pharyngeal fricative (IPA: [ʕ]), the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a similar Egyptian hieroglyph for “eye”.

The Greeks are thought to have come up with the innovation of vowel characters, and lacking a pharyngeal consonant, employed this letter as the Greek O to represent the vowel /o/, a sound it maintained in Etruscan and Latin. In Greek, a variation of the form later came to distinguish this long sound (Omega, meaning “large O”) from the short o (Omicron, meaning “small o”).

Its graphic form has also remained fairly constant from Phoenician times until today. Indeed, even alphabets constructed “from scratch”, i.e. not derived from Semitic, usually have similar forms to represent this sound — for example the creators of theAfaka and Ol Chiki scripts, each invented in different parts of the world in the last century, both attributed their vowels for ‘O’ to the shape of the mouth when making this sound.

O is most commonly associated with the close-mid back rounded vowel [o] in many languages. This form is colloquially termed the “long o” in English, but it is actually a most often adiphthong /oʊ/ (realized dialectically anywhere from [o] to [əʊ]).

In English there is also a “short O”, which also has several pronunciations. In most dialects of English English, it is an open back rounded vowel [ɒ]; in North America, it is most commonly an unrounded back to central vowel [ɑː] to [a].

Common digraphs include OO, which represents either /ʊ/ or /uː/; OI which typically represents the diphthong /ɔɪ/; and OA, OE, and OU represent a variety of pronunciations depending on context and etymology.

Other languages use O for various values, usually back vowels which are at least partly open. Derived letters such as Ö and Ø have been created for the alphabets of some languages to distinguish values that were not present in Latin and Greek, particularly rounded front vowels.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, [o] represents the close-mid back rounded vowel.

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