Flags and emblems of armed non-governmental organizations
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1. A statement of aims
• Symbolism of armed, non-governmental organizations (ANGO).
• A study of symbolism of armed non-governmental organizations, such as terrorist, rebel, partisan parties, underground organizations, political movements, and some religious sects. “A picture tells more than a thousand words” – a study of armed non-governmental formations symbolism is a part of ideological study; it gives a possibility to study the influence of cultural, historical, and political context on such ANGOs.
The Project “Flags and emblems of armed non-governmental organizations and movements” is dedicated to the study of labels, logos, flags and other symbols of contemporary rebel, partisan, terrorist organizations, parties, and movements as well as some of religious sects.
The project’s targets: study of armed non-governmental organizations’ symbolism within the historical, cultural, and political context.
As sources I use websites of the currently active ANGOs.
Methods of study: historical and culturological approaches enables to explain the connection of ANGO symbolism with historical, cultural, religious, and political context; besides, applied are the methods of such historical subjects as heraldry, signumanistics (military strips), vexillology (flags and banners).
Significance for other scholars: the work, which is based upon the study’s results, can be an important source for researching works of historians, politologists and other scholars.
Study of the state, political, military and party symbols is a topical issue. A well-known aphorism says: “A picture tells more than a thousand words” therefore studying of armed organizations can throw light on ideology of armed organizations as well as make the political course and fighting tactics more evident.
The topics that are supposed to be specially touched upon are firstly the symbol samples with direct arms – submachine guns, rifles, pistols, and cold arms. Arms in the symbols make us assume that we deal with an especially aggressive organization, which is less interested in finding a compromise and peaceful solution. Discovering of such organizations and their regional and ideological identity will help to define the risky and dangerous regions and ideologies.
The other aspect of the problem is a proportion of traditionalism and modernism in ideology and activities. This aspect can be explained by collating of up-to-date and historical (traditionalist) elements. The most expected cases are guns (as contemporary elements) or cold-arms (spears and swords) as traditionalist elements.
A degree of aggression is also studied on the base of such heraldic feature as “arms” (not weapons) – colour-marking claws, teeth, tongues of heraldic animals in order to put stress upon such elements and underline thereon the organization’s aggressiveness.
The next aspects of the analysis are legitimism and revolution character of organization and movement. The organizations of legitimistic character act and state for the order that existed in the historical past. On the contrary, the revolutionary organizations aim to change the current order for a society of entirely new type. To some extend, this aspect has something in common with a problem of both traditional and contemporary organizations, although not fully repeating it. Thus, a traditionalist organization may appear to be a revolutionary one (there can be both “left” and “right” revolutions).
Such organization can be unmasked by legitimistic elements of national and state symbols of historical origin, and by the elements of obvious revolutionary origin (for example, hammer and sickle in the communist symbolism).
Another problem of the study is a connection of ANGOs with national symbols of the country of origin. The work assumes studies of the national elements used by ANGO.
• This study is innovation.
2. A synopsis and indication of length
• The book consists of 420 articles. Each article contains the essay to history, ideology and symbols one armed organization.
• Illustrations: roughly 1.000.
• Words: roughly 100.000.
• I will be able to deliver the completed typescript in July 2007. My manuscript in Russian.
3. A description of the target market
• Students, researchers, journalists, officers and policy makers will appreciate the study.
• The book is aimed at an both undergraduate or postgraduate student audience.
• It is research monograph and reference book simultaneously. Each article is a small finished (accomplished, consummate) study. Finished book is a reference book.
• The terrorism is widely researched, but symbology of the ANGOs is not.
• The subject have international appeal outside my home country. The subject have international appeal outside around the world.
4. A main competing books
These books covers a wide range of material from antiquity to present. Its tells about personalities, organizations, nations, weapons, ideologies of terrorism. Entries include wars, individuals (Ernesto Che Guevara), the histories of various terrorist groups (The Red Brigades, LTTE, IRA), locations, terms (The strategy of the tension). Biographies of key individuals include theorists, leaders and the terrorists. These books includes with a chronology of major terrorist events and guerrilla incidents. There are few illustrations, almost all of them in black and white, some of which are of poor quality.
There are several encyclopedias about terrorism and guerrilla warfare. The names are arranged chronologycally:
• John Richard Thackrah, «Encyclopedia of Terrorism and Political Violence», Routledge & Kegan Paul Books (November 1987)
• Martha Crenshaw (Editor), John Pimlott (Editor), «Encyclopedia of World Terrorism», Sharpe Reference (October 1996)
• Crenshaw & Piml, «International Encyclopedia of Terrorism», Routledge (February 1, 1998)
• F. W. Beckett, «Encyclopedia of Guerrilla Warfare», ABC-Clio; New Ed edition (May 2000)
• Harvey W. Kushner, «Encyclopedia of Terrorism», SAGE Publications (December 4, 2002)
• Frank G. Shanty, «Encyclopedia of World Terrorism, 1996-2002» and «Encyclopedia of World Terrorism, Documents»
(Library Binding), Sharpe, M.e., Inc. (2003)
• Leon Newton, Terrorism 101: A Library Reference & Selected Annotated Bibliography, Outskirts Press (July 3, 2006)
• Richard H. Shultz, Andrea J. Dew, «Insurgents, Terrorists, And Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat»,
Columbia University Press (August 2006)
• Cindy C. Combs, Martin W. Slann, «Encyclopedia of Terrorism» (Facts on File Library of World History), Facts on File,
The studies published in Internet are very poor. Its are:
• www.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/default.asp - covers 19 organisations and 26 emblems;
• www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~ilr/emblems/ - covers 10 organizations and 16 emblems.