LOTUS

At the heart of symbolism

The flag of the province of Quebec

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Summary

Flag of Quebec

The colours of the flag

White contains the entire visible light spectrum of the rainbow colours where red constitutes the “upper” arch. Therefore, white represents the Principle of the manifestation of colours in particular and everything in general. White symbolizes the spiritual or sacerdotal authority holding the Knowledge of the principles. A power which has authority over the temporal or royal power in charge of their application and usually associated with red. Now, if red represents the “upper” part of the rainbow as suited for a King, blue is, on the contrary, situated in the “lower” part.

As the least substantial colour in nature, light blue is mainly perceived as translucency in the sky and waters. Therefore, it symbolizes more essence than substance, i.e. the spiritual strength of the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, dark blue represents the deepness of the terrestrial obscurity where we are all wandering before discovering the celestial clarity. Consequently, it depicts the living strength of the nation still prisoner of darkness.

In other words, the colours of the flag express the relationship between God and people.

The white cross

The vertical branch of the cross symbolizes the communication axis between Heaven and Earth. The horizontal branch represents all the range of human possibilities associated to a specific state of being between the celestial and terrestrial states. The intersection point of the horizontal with the vertical branch characterizes the centre of the considered state.

Consequently, the vertical branch represents the centres of all states that the being is called to cross during his descent from Heaven towards Earth and his ascent from Earth to Heaven. Standing at the branch crossing means to be centred in the corresponding state, to glimpse the centres of the “upper” and “lower” states and to consider all the journey to be covered. The being centred in a state occupies an intermediary position between the world beyond and the world below.

As the being centred in the “higher” states, Christ can only look at the journey covered, lean over an abandoned humanity and become the Mediator par excellence between Heaven and Earth, God and people.

The lily flower

In olden days, a number of countries were divided into four provinces and cities into quarters. Their drawing naturally portrays the cross and to discover the lily flower symbol in each quarter or field of the flag should not be surprising.

Before acquiring the symbolic value attributed to it today, the lily was very prized in many regions, in Egypt notably. Its Christian connotation comes from a resemblance with an old symbol.

Simple Chrisme and Celtic rowelNaturally, the lily flower consists of six petals, the schematic form of which evokes the simple Chrisme. As early as the first times of Christianity, the Chrisme was said to result from the union of two letters I and X, i.e. from the Greek initials of the two words Isous Christos. Nevertheless, the symbol existed long before Christianity. It notably constitutes an essential element of the Celtic rowel, which was perpetuated in the Middle Ages and probably related to the roses of the cathedrals and other flower symbols such as the rose, lotus or lily.

Lily flowerIn its stylized form, as on the flag, the lily flower still evokes the simple Chrisme, where the three higher petals predominate. The central petal symbolizes the World axis linking Heaven and Earth; the two lateral ones, its polarization according to celestial and terrestrial powers respectively represented by the sacerdotal and royal functions.

The spiritual authority holds the Knowledge of the divine principles and the temporal authority is in charge of their application. The King receives from the hands of the spiritual authority the temporal power derived from the “divine right”. Endowed with a mandate from Heaven, the King must contribute to the “common interest”, establish justice or social harmony and preserve peace. It is a matter of outer peace, reflection of inner Peace, symbol of the divine presence within the being and essential attribute of the priest.

The sacerdotal and royal functions are combined in the person of the Christ that embodies the Unity of Wisdom and force, Knowledge and action. Symbolized by the central petal, He personifies the divine and human double nature.

The flag of Quebec expresses the vertical relationship between Heaven and Earth, God and people; it depicts, at once, the descent path of God towards Earth and the ascent path of people towards God.

Bibliography

  • René Guénon:
  • “Studies in Freemasonry and Compagnonnage”, Book 2. Sophia Perennis Publisher;
  • Notably, the chapter on Chrisme and Heart in ancient corporative marks.
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