Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pictairn & Tristan da Cunha

Flag of Pitcairn
yellow & green mantling

Pitcairn and Tristan da Cunha are two remote UK isles tucked away in the two great oceans of the planet. Pitcairn is isolated in the deep South Pacific while Tristan da Cunha is far far away in the remote South Atlantic.

Flag of Tristan da Cunha
blue & turquoise mantling

As you can see they are both in the family of Ensign British Blues (like Australia & New Zealand).

But the key elements of symmetry are the 'frog knight' helmets, on top of the shields.

They also have elegantly designed mantling. Pitcairn has green-yellow leafy mantling, while Tristan da Cunha has blue-turquoise mantling.
Mantling originally had two main purposes: identity & sun protection. You can think of mantling as being like a football jersey for knights in shining armor. Mantling made sure you knew who it was fighting under the armor and it kept the knights from being cooked from the inside out on hot sunny days.

Another Yin and Yang object is the sail of Tristan da Cunha balances with the anchor of the Pitcairn. These are two complementary devices of the boat that work 180 degrees apart, in two different directions, one down the other up.

Sails soar high and dry in the air, to fight the current and catch a breeze, on the magnificent seven seas. But anchors are dropped and plopped in the water with no precision, but to hold the ship's current position.

Finally two items of religious significance are on the flags. Pitcairn has a white Bible above the anchor, while Tristan da Cunha has a white streamer with "Our Faith Is Our Strength."

White Book is the Bible

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