Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sri Lanka and Venice - Is the Pen mightier than Sword?

Flag of Sri Lanka
Lion with Sword

The flag of Sri Lanka shares a similar element with the flag of Venice. Lions appear on both flags. The Lion of Sri Lanka holds a mighty sword, while the lion of Venice holds the work of a pen.

There is a delicate balance between the East and the West. There are essentially two major anthems of the Old World. The Western Half sing hymns and songs in the wake of Adam and Eve, while the Eastern Half is in tune with Cosmic Conciousness. Rather the invisible third eye of perception leads the East along a delicate and serendipitous echo of cosmic mind. In conjuction, the West is totally blind to the concept or perception of the invisible 'third eye.' But times are changing, as the West opens its third eye the East is better able to tune into the teachings of Abraham.

Flag of Venice
Lion with Book

Both flags are composed with two components. The flag of Venice has a winged lion holding open a Holy Book with its right hand, and the arms of the various Venetian groups. The flag of Sri Lanka also has a lion but holding a sword with its right hand.

Combining these flags reminds us of the old proverb that, "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword."

Venice and Sri Lanka differ like night and day. They are culturally light years away. Their religion, ethnic, and language are as alien as a coconut and a mushroom. Yet they are connected, as in a special way as is night and day. Venice like day sings and prays in a monotone voice as a nation under one God, while Sri Lanka like night, chants and meditates in a cosmic symphony under a magnificent multitude of stars and Gods.

Sri Lanka and Venice are ancient nations, wise and rich roots that penetrate the deepest of deep hearts, romantic lands blessed by the Divine.

United by Colours and Lions


  1. I think this is just a coincidence. I ignore the history of Sri Lanka but i know a few mine.

    I am Venetian, and i can tell you the lion on our flag is a winged lion, it is a magical beast not an animal, and it is the symbol of Saint Mark, or Marce, or Marcus (Marco in italian). He is one of the four evangelists.
    It is holding the gospel of Mark. On a bigger flag you could read these words in latin: "Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus. Hic requiescet corpus tuum" (Peace to you Mark, my evangelist. Here will rest your body).

    Another curious coincidence with Sri Lanka could be this: in time of war the book was taken away and put a sword in the right paw of the lion. This particular flag is not used anymore, but today it is adopted by a small group of separatists called Veneto Stato.
    Another version of the lion is the "Leon in Moleca", the Moleca version is the lion on front side, it is not very popular, anyway you can find this sometimes: for example the logo of the University of Venice.

    The lion is a very old symbol here, and it was present also before christianity (so it was not related to Marcus). It could be the Nemean lion killed by Eracle (Hercules), this hero was very popular in this region, we have a town called Eraclea Mare still today. Also we were famous to Romans for our horses and ships, we were the best they said. More in the past we can find paleo venetic people with the cult for a Goddess, called Reitia, and she is probably a version of the Great Mother.
    Finally, we know this flag red and yellow, but we had also a version with azure field, but i could not find images of this.

    Anyway, reading various books we can learn about the past, i am doing this, today few people know our history (including venetians), this is because 150 years ago, with the building of Italy, people had to be transformed into "italians" taking away our language, culture, anything connected with the old Serenissima Repubblica, the republic of Venice. Our story is very sad in my opinion, we are now a modern people, with few knowledge of their own past, at least it could be studied more.

    1. It is my great pleasure to meet my first Venetian!

      I'd hope there is room for a healthy balance between distinct cultural regionalisms and national identity.

      Indeed the symbol of the lion has always been in our collective memory and an important hero and villain in cultural stories.

      In any case, the flag of Venice is remarkable and a pleasure to look at. Now all I need is somebody from Sri Lanka to comment on the deeper meaning of their lion flag.


  2. The lion in the Sri Lankan flag represents the Sinhala ethnicity (the majority ethnicity of Sri Lanka), as the word "Sinhala" might mean lion people. Ethnically I am mostly Sinhala