From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Mar 19 2004 - 08:53:05 EST
From: "Michael Everson" <email@example.com>
> At 10:36 +0100 2004-03-19, Marco Cimarosti wrote:
> >Michael Everson wrote:
> >> What "organization" uses the ANARCHY SYMBOL? ;-)
> >The anarchist movement. Why are you winking?
> That's not "an organization". As Rick said, it's a disorganization. ;-)
And even today, anarchists would not like any formal proposition to standardize
a glyph variant as the definitive standard for its representation. Each
Anarchist group will have its prefered presentation and thus will use its own
distinctive glyph variant, should it be a dedicated font, or a graphic design.
This has nothing to do with the need to encode it in plain text. For that latest
usage, the circled Latin letter A is good enough, and it can be rendered at will
with any font or graphic associated with that symbol, when the author needs a
specific design and thus cannot count only on the plain-text encoding but needs
some rich-text format to convey this specific graphic design.
In fact, an Anarchist font could be designed as well to match the desired style
for anyone of the existing Unicode characters, not just the circled A. Such font
would mimic the appearance of what you could paint manually with a pencil on a
rough surface such as a tag on a wall.
If you look on the walls of various large cities around the world, you will
immediately see that these graphic patterns are very specific to each group (or
gang sometimes) which use them as a way to mark their "territory" or area or
influence, with very distinctful graphic design, colors, dimensions and
associated symbolism. The importance is not in the message itself (when it is
present) but really in the graphic and artistic design which serves as an
identity. So an Anarchist symbol, if used, will just be a small part of a more
general set of symbols that spans larger concepts than just a single character.
Also the same anarchist group will use various sorts of "media" to reproduce
this symbol, and with lots of variations depending on the surface where it is
drawn or painted. Let's keep the circled Latin A as one possible way to
represent this symbol in plain-text, but I don't think that plain-text is the
best media to convey all the symbolism and graphic patterns needed by anarchist.
Suppose that one symbol is encoded as such, anarchists will also refuse to
adaopt it as a standard (some may choose to create a simpler mapping to the
ASCII capital letter A as well, throughout the text where an uppercase A is
present in words). Don't even ask them to use the newly encoded character, they
will refuse that rule and argue that their anarchist point of view allows them
to do what they want for the texts they produce themselves.
Anarchists are definitely not attached to any symbol, even their own; some
prefer a lightning symbol with an arrow, some use an A within a triangle, or
change the A for another letter from another script, simply because a Latin A
may look as a link to the occidental culture foreign to the area where the
anarchist group wants to demonstrate its presence. I have seen for example an
Hebrew alef rendered similarly within a geometric shape (I think it was a
5-pointed star, as a way to clearly detach the easily recognizable symbol from
the 6-pointed David's star which is linked to another religious and cultural
symbolism, but I'm not sure it was used as a symbol for an anarchist israelian
Probably there are other symbols used by anarchist groups in Japan and Korea,
using some Asian related symbolism and a letter from a Asian script. Anarchist
groups in South America may choose other cultural symbols such as glyphs from
extinct scripts. In fact there seems to exist as many symbols used as groups
revendicating an anarchist cultural background.
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