10.02 Crescent

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The Crescent is a Greco-Roman symbol which adorns hundreds of the world’s coat or arms, emblems, insignias and flags, especially in the Middle East and Asia. It was either derived from the Moon itself or from the Wheel of Fortuna. The Crescent is one of the oldest symbols known to mankind and was a symbol of numerous Moon gods, including Selena of Greece, Nanna of Sumer, and Sin of Babylonia.  It was reportedly used by the Greek colony of Byzantium, as well as the Byzantine Empire, especially in respect to its capital Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey. Historian Othmar Keel stated that, "Of the many themes that were used on local coinage, celestial and astral symbols, often appeared, mostly stars or crescent moons." During the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars, the Crescent was simultaneously used by both the Byzantines and the Ottomans, showing the duplicitous nature of the war. The Crescent doubles as the Cronus, a Greco-Roman sword-like symbol, and is often paired with the Greco-Roman Star, forming the Star and Crescent. Due to its association with time in the underworld (e.g., the phases of the Moon) and it sickle-like shape, the Crescent has become synonymous with the systematic culling of the Roman Empire, hence its global appeal. This is precisely why it was used by the Byzantine Empire after the alleged fall of the Roman Empire for mass genocide was being executed across Europe. The Crescent is most commonly represented by the letter "C" in the modern English alphabet, an acronym for both “Cull” and “Kill”.


Crescent in Popular Culture

Aside from  the Crescent atop the Taj Mahal in India, the Greco-Roman Crescent is found throughout popular culture, including but not limited to:
Architecture: Crescent, an architectural structure where a number of buildings are built in an arc to form of a crescent shape, Crescent Arts Centre (Belfast, Northern Ireland); and the Royal Crescent (Bath, England); Books:Crescent” (2003), a novel by Diana Abu-Jaber; Business: Crescent, a brand of tools after which the Crescent wrench takes its name; Crescent, a Swedish bicycle brand manufactured by Nymanbolagen; Crescent Air Cargo, an all-cargo airline based in India; Crescent Arms, a firearms manufacturer bought by Savage Arms; Crescent Capital Group, a private American investment firm; Crescent Enterprises, a conglomerate based in the United Arab Emirates; Crescent Foods, a Seattle, Washington, spice and flavorings company (1889-1983); Crescent Petroleum, a privately owned company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates; Crescent Toys, a British toy manufacturer (1922-1980); and The Crescent, a former department store chain headquartered in Spokane, Washington; Fraternities: coat of arms of Alpha Theta Sigma; crest of Gamma Phi Beta; crest of Kappa Sigma; and coat of arms of Lambda Chi Alpha; Games: Crescent, a card game; Military: Crescent Shipyard (Elizabeth, New Jersey); the “HMS Crescent” (1643), a 14-gun ship; the “HMS Crescent” (1692), a 6-gun fireship, formerly of the French navy; the “HMS Crescent” (1758), a 32-gun fifth rate; the “HMS Crescent” (1779), a 28-gun sixth rate;  the “HMS Crescent” (1784), a 36-gun fifth rate; the “HMS Crescent” (1810), a 38-gun fifth rate; the “HMS Crescent” (1854), a wood paddle tender; the “HMS Crescent” (1892), an Edgar-class first class cruiser; the “HMS Crescent” (1920), a the Canopus-class battleship named the “HMS Glory”; the “HMS Crescent” (1931), a C-class destroyer of the Royal Canadian Navy; and the “HMS Crescent” (1944), a C-class destroyer transferred on loan to the Royal Canadian Navy; Music: Crescent” (1964), an album by John Coltrane; “Crescent” (2003), an album by Japanese artist Gackt; Crescent, a percussion instrument; Crescent, an alternative band from Bristol, England; "Crescent City", a song about New Orleans by Lucinda Williams; Crescent City Radio, an Internet radio station based in New Orleans, Louisiana; Crescent City Records, a record label had been based in New Orleans, Louisiana; Crescent Records, a record label; and The Crescent, an English indie band; New Orleans:  flag of New Orleans, Louisiana whose nickname is “The Crescent City”; and the badge of the New Orleans Police Department; Islam:  flag of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; flag of the Arab Maghreb Union; flag of Arab Islamic Republic (1974); and flag for the Nation of Islam; Organizations: the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; Religion: Tengrian Crescent of the Tengriist religion; Schools: Crescent College, a Jesuit college based (Limerick, Ireland); Crescent Convent School (Dildarnagar, India); Crescent Elementary School (Sandy, Utah); Crescent Engineering College (Madras, India); Crescent Girls' School (Singapore); Crescent School (Meeker, Oklahoma); and Crescent School (Toronto, Canada); Secret Societies: insignia of a Masonic Junior Deacon; and logo of the Shriners; Ships: Crescent City” (1848), a schooner built in Medford, Massachusetts;  and the Crescent City” (1906), a steam schooner, formerly the “Jim Butler”; Science: Crescent, a breed of domestic pigeon; Crescent butterflies, the genera “Anthanassa” and “Phyciodes”; the Crescent Meteorite (1936), a meteorite which fell in Oklahoma; and the Crescent Nebula in the constellation Cygnus; Sports: Cincinnati Crescents, an All-Star barnstorming baseball team that played in the mid-1940s; Crescent Arena, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Crescent Boat Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Crescent Hockey Club, a field hockey club in Pakistan; Halifax Crescents, ice hockey team in Halifax, Canada (1899 -1948); Old Crescent, Limerick City based rugby club; and the Paterson Crescents, a defunct basketball team based in Paterson, New Jersey; Symbols: Crescent Pictish; and Transportation: Crescent Amtrak Train (United States); Mornington Crescent tube station (London, England).


Crescent Names of Places
Aside from the
Fertile Crescent, a crescent-shaped geographical region consisting of parts of Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey and Iran, there are numerous places around the world which bear the Crescent name, including but not limited to: Antarctica: Crescent Bay, Victoria Land; Crescent Glacier, Victoria Land; Crescent Scarp, Palmer Land; and Crescent Stream, Victoria Land; Australia: Lake Crescent, Tasmania; Canada: Crescent Beach, Lockeport; Crescent Beach, Lunenburg County; Crescent Beach, South Surrey; Crescent Falls, Alberta; Crescent Island, Nunavut; Crescent Lake, Newfoundland; Crescent Street, Montreal; and Crescent Town, Toronto; China: Ngo Mei Chau (Crescent Island), Hong Kong; Crescent Lake, in Dunhuang; Crescent Lake, in Ningbo; and Yueya Lake (Crescent Moon Lake), Nanjing; England: The Crescent, housing development and street in Bimingham; France: Crescent a region in Occitania; Georgia: Crescent Island, Bay of Isles, South Georgia; Ireland: Crescent Shopping Centre, a shopping mall in Limerick; and The Crescent Street in Limerick; Kenya: Crescent Island, Lake Naivasha; and the United States: Crescent, California; Crescent, Chippewa County, Wisconsin; Crescent, Georgia; Crescent, Iowa; Crescent, New York;  Crescent Oklahoma; Crescent, Oregon; Crescent, Utah; Crescent, Wisconsin; Crescent Beach, Brevard County, Florida; Crescent Beach, Sarasota County, Florida; Crescent Beach, St. Johns County, Florida; Crescent Bridge, New York; Crescent City, California; Crescent City, Florida; Crescent City, Illinois; Crescent Glacier, Alaska; Crescent Glacier, Washington; Crescent Lake, Alaska; Crescent Lake, Minnesota; Crescent Lake, Oregon; Crescent Lake, Park County, Montana; Crescent Lake Junction, Oregon; Crescent Mills, California; Crescent Plantation, Tallulah, Louisiana; Crescent River, Georgia; Crescent Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Crescent Township, Iroquois County, Illinois; La Crescent, Minnesota; La Crescent Township, Houston County, Minnesota; La Crescenta-Montrose, California; Lake Crescent, Florida; Lake Crescent, Washington; Mount Crescent, New Hampshire; Piedmont Crescent, North Carolina; The Crescent, Cincinnati, Ohio; The Crescent Valdosta, Georgia; The Crescent, part of the Downtown Ossining Historic District, New York, New York; and The Old Crescent, Bloomington, Indiana.


Global Crescent Symbology

The Greco-Roman Crescent is found throughout the heraldry and vexillology of over 60 current and former countries, including but not limited to: Albania:
flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of the Democratic Government of Albania (1944-1946); and the flag of Albanian Muslims; Algeria: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Algeria government in Exile (1958-1962); naval ensign of Algeria; current coat of arms of Algeria; and the current flag of Algeria; Armenia: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Transcaucasian SFSR (1922–1936); and the flag of Soviet Armenia (1952–1990); Australia: current flag of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Austria: current coat of arms of Austria; Azerbaijan: flag of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (1918); flag of Azerbaijan (1920–1921); flag of Azerbaijan (1930–1936); flag of Azerbaijan (1937–1940); flag of Nakhchivan ASSR (1937-1940); flag of Azerbaijan (1940–1952); flag of Soviet Azerbaijan (1952–1990); flag of Azerbaijan (1952–1991); and the current flag of Azerbaijan; Bangladesh: flag of Pakistan (1947); Bosnia and Herzegovina: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Ottoman (1844);flag of Independent Bosnia (1878); coat of arms of Bosnia from the Fojnica Armorial (17th Century); flag of Western Herzegovina (1760); and the flag of Bosnian Revolt (1831); Bruniei: current coat of arms of Brunei; and the current flag of Brunei; Bulgaria: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); and the flag of Ottoman (1844); Comoros: flag of the Comoros (1963-1975); flag of the Comoros (1975-1978); flag of the Comoros (1978-1992); flag of the Comoros (1992-1996); fag of the Comoros (1996-2001); island flag of Anjouan; island flag of Grande Comore; island flag of Mayotte; current coat of arms of Comoros; and the current flag of Comoros; Croatia: coat of arms of Zagreb; flag of Zagreb; civil ensign of Croatia; naval ensign of Croatia; naval jack of Croatia; presidential flag of Croatia; unofficial coat of arms of Croatia Country Illyria; and the current coat of arms of Croatia; Cyprus: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Ottoman (1844); and the flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (1983); Cyrenaica Emirate: flag of the Chehab Emirate (1697–1842); and the flag of Cyrenaica Emirate (1949–1951); Czech Republic: flag of Varnsdorf; coat of arms of Varnsdorf; and the current coat of arms of Czech Republic; Djibouti: flag of the Adal Sultanate (1415–1577); flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Habesh Eyalet (1554–1866); and the flag of Ottoman (1844); Egypt: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Ottoman Egypt (1793-1844); flag of Ottoman (1844); flag of the Egypt Eyalet (1844-1867); flag of Muhammad Ali (1867-1881); flag of the Khedivate of Egypt (1881-1914); flag of Egypt (1882-1922); coat of arms of the Sultanate of Egypt (1914–1922); flag of the Sultanate of Egypt (1914–1922); flag of the Sultanate of Egypt (1914–1922); coat of arms of the Kingdom of Egypt (1922–1953); flag of the Kingdom of Egypt (1922–1953); f lag of Egypt (1922–1958); flag of Egypt (1952-1958); coat of arms of the Republic of Egypt (1953–1958); and the flag of Egyptian Revolution (1953-1958); France: coat of arms of Mayotte; Germany: coat of arms of Grabow; coat of arms of Halle; flag of Halle; coat of arms of Oelde; and the coat of arms of Schleswig; Greece: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); Grenada: current coat of arms of Grenada; Iraq: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Ottoman (1844); and the proposed flag of Iraq (2004); Ireland: coat of arms of Drogheda; Israel: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); and the flag of Ottoman (1844); Jordan: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); and the flag of Ottoman (1844); Kazakhstan: flag of the Alash Autonomy; and the flag of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (1936-1991); Kurdistan: former flag of the Kingdom of Kurdistan; Kuwait: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1752); flag of Ottoman (1898); flag of Kuwait (1899-1909); and the flag of Kuwait (1909-1915); Lebanon: flag of Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1517); flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of the Chehab Emirate (1697–1842); and the flag of Ottoman (1844); Leliwa: unofficial coat of arms of Leliwa; Libya: flag of the Tripolitania Vilayet (1864–1911); flag of the Emirate of Cyrenaica (1949–1951); coat of arms of the Kingdom of Libya (1951–1969); flag of the Kingdom of Libya (1951–1969); flag of the Kingdom of Libya (1951–1969); flag of the Royal Standard of Idris I (1951–1969); flag of Fezzan-Ghadames; and on the current flag of Libya; Macedonia: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); and the flag of Ottoman (1844); Malaysia: flag of the Federation of Malaya (1950-1963); civil ensign of Malaysia; government ensign of Malaysia; flag of Malaysian Army; flag of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency; flag of the Royal Malaysian Air Force; flag of the Royal Malaysian Navy; current coat of arms of Malaysia; and the current flag of Malaysia; Maldives: current coat of arms of Maldives; and the current flag of Maldives; Mauritania: current coat of arms of Mauritania; and the current flag of Mauritania; Mongolia: flag of Kayihan Khanate (1326); current coat of arms of Mongolia; and the current flag of Mongolia; Morocco: flag of the Republic of the Rif (1921-1926); Nepal: current coat of arms of Nepal; and the current flag of Nepal; Ottoman Empire: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453-1517); flag of the Admiral of the Ottoman Navy (1453–1793); naval ensign of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1793); war flag of the Ottoman Empire (1500–1793); flag of the Ottoman Empire (1517–1793); flag of the Ottoman Caliphate (1793–1844); flag of the Ottoman Empire (1793–1844); flag of the Ottoman Navy (1793-1844); naval ensign of the Ottoman Empire (1793–1844); flag of the Caliphate (1844–1923); flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1923); naval ensign of the Ottoman Empire (1844–1923); flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844–1924); naval standard of the Ottoman Sultan (1862); coat of arms of the Ottoman Empire (1882); and in the tughra (seal) of the Ottoman Sultans; Pakistan: civil ensign of Pakistan; naval ensign of Pakistan; current coat of arms of Pakistan; and the current flag of Pakistan; Poland: coat of arms of Mińsk Mazowiecki; flag of Mińsk Mazowiecki; coat of arms of Przeworsk; coat of arms of Tarnobrzeg; flag of Tarnobrzeg; coat of arms of Tarnów; and the flag of Tarnów; Portugal: coat of arms of Sintra; flag of Sintra; Russia: flag of Khanate of Khiva (1511-1920); coat of arms of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1917-1999); and flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1917-1999); flag of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (1920-1991); state emblem of Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (1920-1991); flag of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (1922-1936); state emblem of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (1922-1936); flag of the Soviet Union (1922-1991); state emblem of the Soviet Union (1922-1991); and the unofficial flag of Tatarstan Nationalists (1980s); Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic: flag of the Sahrawi National Union Party (1974-1975); flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (1976), flag of Tiris al-Gharbiyya (1976-1979); coat of arms of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; and the current flag of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Saudi Arabia: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1517); flag of the Emirate of Diriyah (1744-1818); flag of Emirate of Nejd (1818-1891); flag of the Emirate of Ha'il (1835-1920); and the flag of Ottoman (1844); Scotland: coat of arms of the Viscount of Arbuthnott; Singapore: flag of Malaysia (1963); civil ensign of Singapore; government ensign of Singapore; naval ensign of Singapore; Red Ensign of Singapore; standard of the President of Singapore; current coat of arms of Singapore; and the current flag of Singapore; South Sudan: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1517); flag of Ottoman (1844); flag of Egypt (1882-1922); and the flag of Egypt (1922–1958); Sudan: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1517); flag of Ottoman (1844); flag of Egypt (1882-1922); flag of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1899-1956); and the flag of Egypt (1922–1958); Sweden: the coat of arms of Ronneby; and the coat of arms of Ödeshög; Syria: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag  of French Mandate of Syria (1920); and the flag of State of Hatay (1938–1939); Transnistria: coat of arms of Transnistria; Tunisia: flag of Beylik of Tunis (1705-1881); flag of French Tunisia (1705-1881); flag of the Ottoman Navy (1793–1844); flag of Tunisia (1959-1999); roundel of the Tunisian Air Force; standard of the President of Tunisia; current coat of arms of Tunisia; and the current flag of Tunisia; Turkey: flag of the Ottoman Empire (1453); flag of Ottoman (1844); flag of Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanlığı forsu; flag of the Customs Administration of Turkey; standard of the President of Turkey as Military Chief; current coat of arms of Turkey; and the current flag of Turkey; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus: current coat of arms of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; and the current flag of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; Turkistan: flag of East Turkistan (1933); Turkmenistan: flag of Bandera de Khiva abans (1917); flag of Bandera de Khiva (1917-1920); flag of the Soviet Union (1922); flag of Turkmenistan (1992-1997); flag of Turkmenistan (1997-2001); flag of Turkmen SSR (1991-1992); flag of the Turkmenistan Air Forces; flag of the Turkmenistan Ground Forces; flag of the Turkmenistan Naval Forces; standard of the President of Turkmenistan; current coat of arms of Turkmenistan; and the current flag of Turkmenistan; Ukraine: coat of arms of Terebovl; coat of arms of Ternopil; flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic; and the state emblem of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic; United States: state flag of Missouri; state flag of South Carolina; flag Sovereignty or Secession Flag (1860); Uzbekistan: flag of the Emirate of Bukhara (1758); flag of the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic (1920); flag of Soviet Union (1924); current coat of arms of Uzbekistan; current flag of Uzbekistan; and the current flag of Uzbekistan Armed Forces; Yemen: flag of Ottoman (1872); and the flag of the Federation of South Arabia (1962-1967); Yugoslavia: Royal Standard of the King (1922–1937); Naval Ensign of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1922-1941); Naval Ensign of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1922-1941); Standard of a Marshal of Yugoslavia (1929–1941); Royal Standard of the King (1937-1941); Royal Standard of the Queen (1937-1941); Royal Standard of the Prince Regent (1937–1941); Royal Standard of the Crown Prince (1937–1941); Royal Standard of a Member of the Royal House (1937–1941); Standard of the Prime Minister (1937–1941); and Standard of the Regent (1937–1941).