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Gundam Wing














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Gundam Wing -- Note: Spoilers















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Gundam Wing (official English title--original Shin Kidou Senki Gundam W, literal New Mobile Report Gundam Wing) is an alternate-universe spinoff of Japan's long-running Gundam saga.  I will not delve too deeply into the plot, which is far too byzantine to explain in any detail anyway, but as with all the Gundam series the basic motif is hostility between space colonists living in massive satellites in lunar orbit on the one side and a succession of increasingly obnoxious political entities that govern Earth and the colonies on the other.  The first of the latter is the United Earth Sphere Alliance, a heavy-handed military regime that is in power at the series’ outset.  It is described as having been formed after a protracted period of international strife, to secure peace at any cost, even that of freedom.

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United Earth-Sphere Alliance

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The United Earth-Sphere Alliance
The above flag—actually more of a pennant—appears in the series in a montage in episode 7, wielded in battle by Alliance mobile suits—giant robots—but it is doubtful that this is the flag of the Alliance.  The odd shape is suspicious, as are the dimensions—I estimate it at 5-6 m tall, and 17-20 m long.  The symbol is a flattened version of the UESA coat of arms(right), which is featured quite unmistakably in the series (on the side of a blimp, no less), and which would appear to be a winged Earth. There is at least one more flag associated with the UESA, but only its bottom three-quarters can be seen, and that somewhat indistinctly, in episode 5.  It looks like a combination of the winged-Earth and bird-of-prey logos in gilt in the center of a darker-bordered red flag. I rather like it.

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UESA Flag?

This may be the actual UESA flag.  In all the variations, the orange-ish scroll has some sort of inscription, but it is never quite legible.
 
 
 

The Romefeller Foundation

The chief sponsor, financier and arms supplier to the UESA is the Romefeller Foundation  (Romefeller Zaidan), equal parts industrial conglomerate, political party, international conspiracy and social club.

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Romefeller Foundation

The Foundation is headquartered in Bremen and controlled by wealthy aristocrats. Their flag is a traditional heraldic design; a very good likeness can be reproduced as it can frequently be seen as a backdrop in the Foundation’s Halls of Parliament. I would be interested to hear exactly who the c-o-a was ripped off from, and—if anyone would care to hazard one—a heraldic description. The Foundation has a rather elitist outlook, being of the opinion that the hoi polloi are incapable of governing themselves and that their betters should rule them on their behalf.  It funds the UESA to maintain law and order, but when the UESA fails to take a sufficiently hard line with colonial rebels, the Foundation decides it has outlived its usefulness.

OZ

The private army of the Romefeller Foundation, originally a munitions-making subsidiary that eventually evolves into a secret society and infiltrates the UESA military as the Specials Corp. OZ stands for Organization of the Zodiac.  It also seems to have more heraldry than any self-respecting goon squad should really need—there are at least three flags, and more--completely different--uniform badges, patches and such.  The flags:  #1 features a lion’s head and a crossbar; #2 the stylized inscription ‘OZ’; #3 a constellation, presumably Leo.

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OZ

UPDATE: OK, minor revision:  Only flag one is official.  It appears in Treize Khushrenada's office in ep 5 or 6, I forget which.  The constellation flag does appear somewhere--I can recall seeing it--but I can't remember where, so I'll call it unoffical for the moment.  And the 'OZ' script-logo is not used on a flag, but serves as a vehicle marking--a duty it shares with the lion-and-crossbar, which appears on an OZ shuttlecraft in episode 5. The lion symbol may be a command ensign, since it's Khushrenada's  personal shuttle.

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Also OZ

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Yup, OZ again

And here we have some more OZ stuff.  The lion and the 'oz' are self-explanatory, but the left shoulder-patch mystifies me.  It seems to be a dwarfs' head, or a lawn gnome's.  So far as I know OZ has no affiliations with the wee folk--Wing is a sci-fi series, after all. I guess it's just a mystery.  You might call it gnomic.  Hehehe. 

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OZ INSIGNIA

During the early part of the Wing series OZ--acting on the Foundation's orders--launches a coup’d etat from within the Alliance military, dissolving the UESA.  Later, OZ splits in half after a top-level power struggle, with one half remaining loyal to OZ leader Treize Khushrenada and the other to the executives of the Foundation.  The Romefeller faction wins (From this point on the Foundation c-o-a replaces the OZ logo on military hardware, though the Foundation's armies still use the 'OZ' moniker--in particular, on the door of a military truck in Ep. 41),

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then bullies the nations of the world to accept its sponsorship and protection and subsequently declares itself the World Nation, (under the Foundation’s flag). The space colonists, having been passed around like a football between the various powers during all of this and thouroughy exploited in the process, finally have enough and revolt, and after a final cataclysmic war a new, better political order is established.

The Earth Sphere Unified Nation

In the OAV sequel Endless Waltz, the democratic, demilitarized Earth Sphere Unified Nation has been established and peace exists.  The ESUN flag is a golden disc, with two concentric circles bisected by an x—a symbolic representation of Earth from above one of the poles, I believe, and kind of a novel idea imho.  The flag can be seen behind the podium at the MO-3 Christmas celebration, at the beginning of episode 1.

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Earth Sphere Unified Nation

One year after the end of the conflicts a group of die-hard ex-OZ troops tries to stage a coup in an effort to install the late Treize Khushrenada’s illegitimate daughter Marimeia as figurehead ruler of the world. The Marimeia Army’s banner can be seen in the opening minutes of episode 3 as Marimeia gives her 'History is like an endless waltz' speech.

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Marimeia Army

The Army also uses a different, asymmetrical version of the eagle-over-M symbol, which strikes me as a nicer design. [see below] It comes in either silver, over a rather tasteless shade of fuchsia, as a uniform badge and in red-on-black as an armband. Unfortunately, the whole fuchsia color scheme also carries over to the Army’s uniforms, which has to be a bad omen to begin with. No world-domination project that has ever been undertaken under a fuchsia banner has ever been taken seriously, or met with much in the way of sucess.

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Entities from Wing that I have yet to see a flag or crest for:
 
The Colonies--I think there was a logo of some kind behind the colonial representative in ep 12 or so, but I need to watch it again to make sure.  It may have simply been a background or something.  And I have no idea what precisely it would have represented anyway--the colonies are pretty amorphous politically. Perhaps some leftover Yuyists or something.
 
White Fang--well, we have a motto:  Peace & Freedom.  But the only symbol they seem to use is that white armband.  Perhaps they disdain flags as too terrestrial.  They are rather humorless.
 
Sanc Kingdom--strangely enough, we never get a look at any kind of national symbol, even with all the airtime it gets.
 
Unnamed Country--Count Townsend's country.  I don't recall anything, but in fairness it was only featured in that one episode.















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