I feel like the lgbtq flags have better color pallettes though. Something tells me a lot of them were made by art school students. They just seem to follow a proper theory of color, whereas country flags stumble and trip across the color spectrum like a drunk driver flipping their Chevy Suburban at high speed and rolling it down that beginning hill on N64 Mario Kart’s *Rainbow Road.* If you don’t know that Mario Kart level I’m referring to, let me put it to you this way instead: Blow me.
But, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of this was due to the fact that certain colors of fabrics were historically easier to produce and maintain, or see at long distances. Maybe it’s easier to see an ugly ass flag with terribly clashing colors from far away at sea between ships, and things like that.
Also, many of these colors that came to be used in the flags of nation states were used in flags, emblems, insignia, and coats of arms throughout Europe, and each color had a meaning behind it that was more important than how it looked next to other colors; however, I think that was considered as well, but was a secondary concern, and, when it was considered, their theories of color were probably more derived from alchemy than anything we’d recognize today as theories of art. But, then again, alchemy included their theories of art, as it included almost every kind of study that wasn’t already taken up as a religious thing. The way of creating the dyes for the fabric was alchemical, geometric shapes were alchemical, thus, designing flags and emblems was probably considered alchemical, especially when trying to consider what we would now call the “psychological effect” of the symbols and colors. That is so much of what alchemy was: a study of the connections between the physical world and the spiritual world; the external and internal; the eternal and ephemeral: why do plants die but soil does not? What is the transition point between elemental material and a living thing? I.e. when, why, and how does a construct of elemental material get imbued with spirits? Can we extract the spirits or essence of these things and imbue them in ourselves? Can we renew our own spirits by consuming the spirits of other things, possibly to the point that our spirits will not escape our corporeal forms, and thus live everlasting life? This is the search for the life spring — the fountain of youth.
It was so much more than just “an early form of chemistry,” which is what I was taught in school.
Also, it’s not as stupid, backwards, and ignorant as it was made out to be after the enlightenment and the scientific revolution. A lot of it was touching on knowledge we later provided a drier explanation and evidence for with the scientific method, but the language, charts, and practices of alchemists were purposefully esoteric and hard to understand. It was full of metaphor, art, and poetry, which was like material you must use alchemical knowledge to extract the essence from. If you take it all at face value, it’s like flipping through the notebook of an extremely delusional schizophrenic.
Here’s an example of how an alchemically minded person might look at the same thing as a scientifically minded person, both referring to the same thing, but with different language:
We eat living things for our energy to survive. Science says this is because living things grow biological structures which, when eaten, is broken down by digestion into energy and waste products (AKA uh oh stinky poo poo). The amount of energy the material provides (given in Calories) can be determined by measuring the amount of heat produced when that material is combusted. This is because, although it’s not literally set on fire in our stomachs, the process of digestion can only release the same amount of energy it does when released as heat through combustion because of the laws of thermodynamics, especially the principle which comes out of the laws of thermodynamics called “conservation of energy.”
Now, right there we see an idea that sounds eerily similar to the “Law of Equivalent Exchange” as popularized by *Fullmetal Alchemist* which really was one of those things people talked about in alchemy and philosophy — which was pretty much just a branch of alchemy — that turned out to be, as far as I can tell, a real thing.
Furthermore, if you just replace the idea of “Calories” with “spirit”, “essence”, “life-force”, etc. that would essentially be the alchemical idea of how it all worked.
Just real quick, I want to mention the crazy charts and stuff.
So from what I’ve argued with that example, you might say alchemists were onto the overarching concepts of a lot of things, then science came along and put numbers to it.
Well i’d say that’s pretty much true, but alchemists fucked with numbers. Hella. A lot of it was numerology kinda stuff, which I know very little about, but I think the geometric charts and stuff was probably the best way they had to display mathematical relationships. They hadn’t worked out international standards for algebraic symbols or anything like that, so instead of using symbols to imply a certain mathematical relationship, they had to literally show the relationship. Especially without modern calculators, you can represent the solution to some equations much more precisely with a geometric shape than you can calculate the number. Take π for example: without a calculator, it’s very difficult to precisely calculate and represent its value with numbers, and let’s say you want to show someone something that includes π but they don’t know what the symbol *π* means; probably the best way to do it would be to draw a circle with a compass along with some other lines drawn with a square rule to show them. And there you have it, some mysterious looking circle glyph that if you had no idea what it was trying to represent would look very esoteric and mystical.
Even knowing what it represents, it still *is* very esoteric and mystical. There’s a reason why Pythagoras was seen as a very esoteric and mystical living myth of a person during his lifetime. Some of his students followed him as if he were a diety rather than some smart guy who figured some stuff out. No, he figured out some of the most fundamental laws of the universe! Something so fundamental that it was very much in line with the idea that great thinkers should be trying to find and express the Platonic forms of the world —the most perfect and fundamental representations upon which everything else is just an imperfect rendition of.
Anyways. I don’t think the lgbtq flags are very imaginative design-wise though. They just have a better grasp of how colors go together. Which kinda follows that stereotype, a fairly old one by now, that says gays have an eye for decor. I know not all of these flags are for gay people, that’s just the stereotype; which I don’t believe in either.
I’ve known gay dudes who have a horrible eye for these sorts of things.
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