Thursday, December 7, 2017

Holiday State Flags for Hanukkah and Diwali - Virginia and Massachusetts

Massachusetts Diwali Themed Flag - An Old World Indian
Every year a set of flags has been decked out with the Holiday Spirit.  However this year, the spirit for the festivals of lights has been chosen.  Coincidentally Judaism and Hinduism have celebrations dedicated to a festive atmosphere of lighting candles.

Note that Diwali falls 'on the darkest night' which can fall in October or November, likewise Hanukkah can fall anywhere from November to December.

In much of India, the festival of Diwali is a cherished holiday. Many countries with significant India populations, like Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago also recognize it.

In contrast, for much of USA, this world wide festival of lights is much of an off the radar mystery.  But things are changing, surely and slowly schools, and Western commercial calendars are recognizing this holiday.  Perhaps someday in the near future, Diwali will gain recognition to "weather graphic status."  Meaning, that someday a small icon like a Rangoli or Diya lamp will appear on your local weekly weather forecast; Christmas and Hanukkah always get a weather graphic as does Thanksgiving, Halloween, Kwanzaa, and the 4th of July.

Diya Lamps of Diwali
Massachusetts was the chosen flag to become Diwalizised.  The flag plays on that persistent ethnic misnomer, as the first White men to live in the Americas thought they were in Asia; subsequently the first Whites to this hemisphere mistakenly labeled the Indigenous-Native Americans as: Indians.  Native Americans from Chile to Alaska hardly have any familial lineage to India.  Nonetheless it has resulted in this perpetual mix up.  The word Indian invokes two distant spirits: that of the Old World-South Asia Indian and the New World-American Indians.

It's like the confusion created with the word for 'hot' for food.  Is the food hot by temperature or hot by spice? Food can be hot in the sense of objective temperature, or it can be hot by causing a false burning sensation as induced by chili peppers.  Sure, people try to say spicy, but spicy can also just mean spices in the sense of seasoning, and not all spices cause a burning sensation, even though the food may be lukewarm or room temperature.  It's one of those things that nobody has managed to fix.  Perhaps 'picante' is the best word to describe food has that has a 'heat-seasoning' flavor?

Anyways, for Massachusetts the India person is wearing traditional clothes that includes a sari. The Diya has replaced the white star; a Diya is a clay oil lamp.  There are several stories related to Diwali.  But a common theme is that a God or Goddess slays the evil demon with an arrow.  In one story Sathyabama, a female princess, kills the demon with her bow and arrow.  Yet there are other versions of this story where an avatar of Vishnu as Rama shoots the triumphant arrow.  But the bottom line is, it's a celebration of good over evil.  The common theme of family and gift giving is also present, which has been heavily commercialized. 

Another change on Massachusetts' flag is the arm coming from the wreath.  The English-man's sword is replaced with one arm of Vishnu holding his sacred Gada.  A Gada is a type of weapon, a kin to a mace, yet it has a deeper meaning.  The gentile would mistake it as a rattle, yet it is much more.  It typically represents strength and power, both of the body and the mind.  Finally the wreath has is bright colours, as found within designs of the Rangoli.  Rangoli are colourful floral like patterns often made from sand.

Virginia State Flag Chanukized
Now for Virginia, as each US state flag is aligned with a fraternal flag partner; Massachusetts' wingman is Virginia. It is a proverbial bond of Father of the North, Massachusetts, with Mother of the South, Virginia.

In this case the holiday of Hanukkah is honored.  The Virginia state flag has been Hanukkized with the spirit of Hebrew lights.  The flag fits so perfectly, as the woman stands triumphantly on a Dictator.  Likewise Hanukkah is partly a celebration of God's preminent voice over the Olympian Gods of Greece.  However for the Virginia's Hanukkaized flag, a Hebrew woman holds the scrolls of the Torah in her left hand and completely lit Menorah in her right hand.  She is stands on a Greco-Selucid tyrant.  The fallen crown of the king is replaced with a dreidel, showing the letters Shin, which has the three arms and Hey.  Also the Latin phrase of  Sic Semper Tyrannis has been translated in the Hebrew:לכן תמיד לרודנים.  

Just remember you don't have to be Jewish to celebrate Hanukkah.  It is a precious moment in history, before the birth of of Islam and Christianity, when the God of Abraham was in harmonic union with mankind as agreed by all the subsequent paths to unfold from this most precious of tribes.  The Greco-Selucids were last of Empires to rule over the Holy Land, before the conquest of Rome, upon which Christianity was fertile to spout.

If ya didn't know, dreidels are used to gamble as a spinning top game to win prizes.  The rules are really simple.  Depending on which side it lands you can win the pot (Letter Gimmel- the Santa Face), get some of the pot (Letter Hey- the Fireplace Stocking), give to pot (Letter Shin - Give to Charity Heart), or have nothing happen (Letter Noon- a Simple Snowflake).  Coincidentally during the Hindu Festival of lights, gambling is a set tradition too!  

Although Hinduism and Judaism are universes apart, they are coming closer and closer, like the union of the Milky Way with Andromeda Galaxy.  Certainly in the future, when Diwali is honored as much as Hanukkah in the United States, the world will be different place.  Maybe someday the US Post Office will finally issue Diwali themed Postage Stamps?  No doubt, we will see that day.

Diya Lamp Image Source:

The state flag of Virginia being Hanukized makes harmonious sense, since West Virginia has been North Polarized with the Christmas Spirit.  The concord being that Virginia represents the Original Testament of Virginia, while West Virginia is the New Testament to a New Virginia.  You can see the Holiday Santatastic Flag of West VA here!


  1. Originally Posted December 1, 2017 - But a Google Update pushed it automatically.

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