In heraldry, a bend is a band or strap running from the upper dexter corner of the shield to the lower sinister. Authorities differ as to how much of the field it should cover, ranging from one-fifth up to one-third; the supposed rule that a bend should occupy a maximum of one-third of the field appears to exclude the possibility of three bends being shown together, but contrary examples exist. Outside heraldry, the term "bend sinister" is sometimes used to imply illegitimacy, though it is never true that a bend sinister has this significance, a "bar sinister" cannot, by its nature, exist. A bend can be modified by most of the lines of partition, such as the bend engrailed in the ancient arms of Fortescue and the bend wavy in the ancient coat of Wallop, Earls of Portsmouth; the diminutives of the bend, being narrower versions, are as follows, in descending order of width: Bendlet: One-half as wide as a bend, as in the arms of Manchester City Council, England. A bendlet couped is known as a baton, as in the coat of Elliot of Stobs Cotise: One-fourth the width of a bend.
Riband or ribbon: Also one-fourth the width of a bend. It is called a cost as in the arms of Abernethie of Auchincloch Scarp: a bend sinister of one-half width; the usual bend is called a bend dexter when it needs to contrast with the bend sinister, which runs in the other direction, like a sash worn diagonally from the left shoulder. The bend sinister and its diminutives such as the baton sinister are rare as an independent motif; the term "bar sinister" is an erroneous term when used in this context, since the "bar" in heraldry refers to a horizontal line. The bend sinister, reduced in size to that of a bendlet or baton, was one of the commonest brisures added to the arms of illegitimate offspring of European aristocratic lords; such royal descent was considered a mark of honour, in most of Europe, illegitimate children of nobles, despite having few legal rights, were customarily regarded as noble and married within the most aristocratic families. This was the usual mark used to identify illegitimate descendants of the English royal family dating from fifteenth century, as in the arms of Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle, illegitimate son of Edward IV of England.
The full-sized bend sinister was used in this way, more recent examples exist of bends sinister that have no connection with illegitimacy, such as in the arms of the Burne-Jones baronets. These markings were never subject to strict rules, the customary English use of the bend and baton sinister to denote illegitimacy in this way gave way to the use of different kinds of bordures. Sir Walter Scott is credited with inventing the phrase bar sinister, which has become a metonymic term for bastardy. Heraldry scholar Arthur Charles Fox-Davies and others state that the phrase derives from a misspelling of barre, the French term for bend. Despite its not being a real heraldic symbol, bar sinister has become a standard euphemism for illegitimate birth; the phrase in bend refers to the appearance of several items on the shield being lined up in the direction of a bend, as in the arms of the ancient Northcote family of Devon: Argent, three crosses-crosslet in bend sable. It is used when something is slanted in the direction of a bend, as in the coat of Surrey County Council in England.
A charge bendwise is slanted like a bend. When a charge is placed on a bend, by default it is shown bendwise. A shield party per bend is divided into two parts by a single line which runs in the direction of a bend. Applies not only to the fields of shields but to charges. Bendy is a variation of the field consisting of an number of parts, most six. Analogous terms are derived from the bend sinister: per bend sinister, bendwise sinister, bendy sinister. Boutell, Charles. Fox-Davies, A. C. ed. The Handbook to English Heraldry. London: Reeves & Turner. OCLC 81124564. Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles. A Complete Guide to Heraldry: Illustrated by Nine Plates and Nearly 800 Other Designs. London: T. C. & E. C. Jack. ISBN 0-517-26643-1. LCCN 09023803. Boutell, Charles. Heraldry and Modern: Including Boutell's Heraldry. London: Frederick Warne. OCLC 6102523 Brooke-Little, J P, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, An heraldic alphabet, Robson Books, London, 1985. An Introduction to Heraldry, 18th ed.. London: George Bell & Sons.
First published 1775. ISBN 1-4325-3999-X. LCCN 26-5078 Cussans, John E.. Handbook of Heraldry. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0-7661-7338-0. LCCN 04-24470 Friar, Stephen A New Dictionary of Heraldry Alphabooks, Sherborne, 1987 Greaves, Kevin, A Canadian Heraldic Primer, Heraldry Society of Canada, Ottawa, 2000, lots but not enough illustrations Heraldry Society, members' arms, with
San Francisco the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017, it covers an area of about 46.89 square miles at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, the fifth-most densely populated U. S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area; as of 2017, it was the seventh-highest income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $119,868. As of 2015, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $154.2 billion, a GDP per capita of $177,968. The San Francisco CSA was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2017, with a GDP of $907 billion.
Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the US, the San Francisco CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2017, at $93,938. San Francisco was ranked 14th in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of September 2018. San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi; the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater.
It became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes along liberal Democratic Party lines. A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, its Chinatown district. San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Gap Inc. Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Reddit, Inc. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and Weather Underground.
It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences. As of 2019, San Francisco is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings; the earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolà, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay. Seven years on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís, established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system ended, its lands became privatized.
In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, Mexico ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography; the California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers. With their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849; the promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor.
Some of these 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels.
New England Valkyries RFC
New England Valkyries Rugby Football Club is a rugby union football club based in Boston, MA. The New England Valkyries are a gay-identified but all-inclusive team, they have a diverse group of players: gay, straight, bi-sexual, old and newbie. The Valkyries formed in September 2013; some if its members are former Boston Ironsides RFC members. In May 2013, before forming as an recognized IGRAB team, the Valkyries first played in the Chicago Combustion Tournament. At the time, they were a barbarian rugby team composed of current Boston Ironsides players, they took home a trophy from the 2013 Chicago Combustion tournament. In November 2013, the Valkyries came in 2nd place in the Charlotte Tourney; the Valkyries are members of: International Gay Rugby Association and Board USA Rugby New England Valkyries RFC
Kings Cross Steelers
The Kings Cross Steelers are a British rugby team, based in London. Founded in 1995 it was the world's first gay-inclusive rugby union club, is therefore the oldest such club in the world, its founding sparked the beginning of a much larger gay inclusive rugby movement which to date includes over 60 gay inclusive rugby clubs across the world. The Kings Cross Steelers were founded in London on 1 November 1995, in the Central Station gay pub, located a street or so away from London's King's Cross Station; the club's name reflects a combination of its geographical roots, the sporting affiliations of some of its founding members. Geographically, Kings Cross was the area of Central London. Note that since it was not named after the eponymous railway station, there is no apostrophe in the club's name; the "Steelers" is a homage to the Pittsburgh Steelers, an American football team, of which numerous of the founding members of the Kings Cross Steelers were fans. The Pittsburgh Steelers are so named because Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was, during the decade of that club's founding and renaming, the centre of the American steel industry.
Whilst naming sports teams after existing teams is a common phenomenon, the Kings Cross Steelers are one of the few such sports teams to be named through inspiration from a team which competes in a different sport. In the summer of 1996 the club joined the Surrey County Union, they played their first game on 21 September 1996, which they lost by 92–10 to Orleans Former Pupils at Strawberry Hill. In June 1999 the Steelers become full members of the English Rugby Football Union and at the same time joined Surrey County League Four. In August 1999 the Steelers played a match against the newly formed Manchester gay team, the Village Spartans; this was the world's first match between two gay/bi rugby teams. The Steelers won 22-15. In July 2000 the Steelers took part in the Rugby Sevens competition at the UK Gay Sports Festival held at Waltham Forest. Visiting US team, the Washington Renegades, the Manchester Village Spartans fielded teams. In 2001 the Steelers grew to be large enough to field a second squad.
The 2nd XVs played their first match in February. In June 2002, the club were runners up in the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament. In May 2004 the Steelers hosted the 2004 Bingham Cup in Esher. In February 2007 the club celebrated its first "gay marriage" between two Steelers; the club travelled to Copenhagen for the Union Cup, the biennial tournament for European inclusive rugby clubs in May, winning the cup. In May, the club was promoted to the Essex League 2. In Dublin in 2008 the Steelers were the tournament runners-up, losing to the Sydney Convicts in the final. In 2009, the club hosted, won, the Union Cup. In 2011, the club defended its Union Cup title in Amsterdam after a final against the Manchester Village Spartans. In the same year, the club won the Hadrian Cup, a yearly tournament held in Newcastle and organised by the Newcastle Ravens. In May 2013, the club again retained the Union Cup in Bristol after a final against Ireland's Emerald Warriors; the club managed to retain the cup without conceding a single try throughout the tournament.
In 2014 the club travelled to Sydney for the Bingham Cup in August. The club narrowly lost out in the semi-final match. In May 2015, the Steelers defended the Union Cup. In May 2016, the club took 4 full teams to the Bingham Cup in Tennessee. April 2017 saw the club take 4 teams to the Union Cup 2017 in Madrid, with the 1st XV winning the cup for the sixth successive tournament. At the end of the 2017-18 season the club finished as champions of Essex Canterbury Jack 1 and were promoted to London 3 Essex; as a sports club explicitly founded with the intention of fielding a gay team, the club's players are homosexual, and/or transgender. None of the four standing teams fielded by the club compete in women's rugby, so there are no lesbians. For the 2018/19 season, the Kings Cross Steelers 1st XV play in London 3 Essex with the 2nd XV playing in Merit Table Division 6 and the 3rd XV playing in Merit Table Division 6; the 1st XV have played in Essex 2 & Essex 3, with the promotion to Essex 2 during the 2006/07 season.
The 3rd XV entered league rugby for the first time in 2016/17 playing in the Merit Table Division 7. The 4th XV made up of new members joining through the club's Pathway to Rugby programme, have played the Turing Cup against other inclusive rugby teams from around the country as well as friendlies between newly-formed teams; the logo is of an elephant in a castle. The logo is based on the crest of the Marquess of Camden, forms part of the crest of the London Borough of Camden. Or to give it the correct description "On a Wreath of the Colours issuant from a Mural Crown Argent a demi Elephant Sable armed or about the neck a Wreath of Holly fructed proper"; the elephant in the club badge is affectionately known as'Nelly'. For kit, the 2017/18 jerseys for the Steelers 1st XV and 2nd XV are green and blue striped with gray panels on the sides; the jerseys for the 3rd XV are blue and grey striped, while the jerseys for the 4th XV are salmon and turquoise striped. Shorts and socks in all cases are blue.
As of December 2018 the Kings Cross Steelers are sponsored by, amongst others: the law firm Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement; the achievement, or armorial bearings includes a coat of arms on an shield and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, heraldic banners, mottoes. Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages, it is often that the use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language but there is little actual support for this view.
The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", "the shorthand of history", "the floral border in the garden of history". In modern times, individuals and private organizations, cities and regions use heraldry and its conventions to symbolize their heritage and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent groups for thousands of years; the earliest representations of distinct persons and regions in Egyptian art show the use of standards topped with the images or symbols of various gods, the names of kings appear upon emblems known as serekhs, representing the king's palace, topped with a falcon representing the god Horus, of whom the king was regarded as the earthly incarnation. Similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can be found.
In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, who were commanded to gather beneath these emblems and declare their pedigrees. The Greek and Latin writers describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields; until the nineteenth century, it was common for heraldic writers to cite examples such as these, metaphorical symbols such as the "Lion of Judah" or "Eagle of the Caesars" as evidence of the antiquity of heraldry itself. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, but these fabulous claims have long since been dismissed as the fantasy of medieval heralds, for there is no evidence of a distinctive symbolic language akin to that of heraldry during this early period. The medieval heralds devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table.
These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to a single individual, time, or place. Although certain designs that are now considered heraldic were evidently in use during the eleventh century, most accounts and depictions of shields up to the beginning of the twelfth century contain little or no evidence of their heraldic character. For example, the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrating the Norman invasion of England in 1066, commissioned about 1077, when the cathedral of Bayeux was rebuilt, depicts a number of shields of various shapes and designs, many of which are plain, while others are decorated with dragons, crosses, or other heraldic figures, yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the same arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. An account of the French knights at the court of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I at the beginning of the twelfth century describes their shields of polished metal, utterly devoid of heraldic design.
A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic. The Abbey of St. Denis contained a window commemorating the knights who embarked on the Second Crusade in 1147, was made soon after the event. In England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. Beginning in the twelfth century, seals assumed a distinctly heraldic character. A notable example of an early armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders, in 1164. Seals from the latter part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism, but by t
In heraldry, the term star may refer to any star-shaped charge with any number of rays, which may appear straight or wavy, may or may not be pierced. While there has been much confusion between the two due to their similar shape, a star with straight-sided rays is called a mullet while one with wavy rays is called an estoile. While a mullet may have any number of points, it is presumed to have five unless otherwise specified in the blazon, pierced mullets are common. In Scottish heraldry, an estoile is the same as in English heraldry, but it has been said that mullet refers only to a mullet pierced, while one, not pierced is called a star; the use of the word star in blazons, how that charge appears in coat armory, varies from one jurisdiction to another. In Scots heraldry, both star and mullet interchangeably mean a star with five straight rays. In Canadian heraldry the usual term is mullet, but there is the occasional six-pointed star, what others would blazon as a six-pointed mullet; the United States Army Institute of Heraldry, the official heraldic authority in the United States, uses the term mullet in its blazons, but elsewhere, as in US government documents describing the flag of the United States and the Great Seal of the United States, the term star is used, these nearly always appear with five straight-sided points.
The term mullet or molet refers to a star with straight sides having five or six points, but may have any number of points specified in the blazon. If the number of points is not specified, five points are presumed in Gallo-British heraldry, six points are presumed in German-Nordic heraldry. Unlike estoiles, mullets have straight rays and may have represented the rowel of a spur, rather than a celestial star; the term is said to be derived from French molette, a spur-rowel, although it was in use in heraldry before rowel spurs. The term estoile refers to wavy-sided stars of six points, though they may be blazoned with a different number of points eight, many variants feature alternating straight and wavy rays; the term derives from Old French estoile'star', in reference to a celestial star, from Latin stella'star'. Stars are comparatively rare in European heraldry during the medieval period. An early reference of dubious historicity is reported by Johannes Letzner, who cites Conradus Fontanus to the effect that one Curtis von Meinbrechthausen, a knight of Saxony, in 1169 after committing a murder lost his rank and arms, described as an eight-pointed star beneath a chevron.
Examples of stars in a late medieval heraldry of the Holy Roman Empire include those of Wentz von Niederlanstein, Geyer von Osterberg, Enolff Ritter von Leyen. Under the system of cadency in use in England and Ireland since the late 15th century, a third son bears a mullet as a difference. Stars become much more popular as heraldic charges in the early modern era in then-recent family coats of arms of burghers and patricians, as well as in coats of arms of cities; the coat of arms of Valais originates in the 16th century, when seven stars representing its Seven Tithings were added to the party per pale coat of arms of the Bishop of Sion. Of the higher nobility in Siebmachers Wappenbuch, the landgrave of Hessen and the counts of Waldeck and Erbach have stars in their coats of arms, as do several Swiss knights. Stars are nearly ubiquitous in United States heraldry and vexillology and nearly always appear unpierced with five straight-sided points. In the flag of the United States, each star represents one state.
The flag adopted in 1777 is the attributed origin of the thirteen stars, representing the thirteen United States, appearing on the Great Seal since 1780. A mullet "barbed to chief" appears in the arms of the 240th Signal Battalion of the 40th Infantry Division of the California Army National Guard United States Army. In the design of modern flags, stars when standing alone represent concepts like "unity" or "independence", in the case of the communist star of the flag of the Soviet Union and other communist states the unity of the Communist Party; when arranged in groups, they enumerate provinces or other components of the nation. In the flags of Nauru and the Marshall Islands, this enumeration is done by the points of a single star rather than by a number of stars; some flags of countries on the southern hemisphere show a depiction of the Southern Cross consisting of four or five stars. The star and crescent symbol is found in flags of states succeeding the Ottoman Empire, which used flags with this symbol during 1793-1923.
The twelve stars on the Flag of Europe symbolize unity. The green five-pointed star on the Esperanto flag symbolizes the five inhabited continents; the 50 stars of the US flag is the largest number on any national flag. The second-largest number of stars on a current national flag is 27, on the flag of Brazil; the current national flags featuring stars include: Not bearing heraldic stars as such, the 1915 Flag of Morocco and the 1996 flag of Ethiopia h