Using the Red Cross as an example, Nicholas and Helena Roerich proposed a treaty for the protection of cultural treasures during times of both war and peace — a proposal he had unsuccessfully tried to promote in 1914. In consultation with lawyers versed in international law, he drafted a Pact, and suggested that a flag would be flown over all places under its protection.

This flag he called the Banner of Peace. The design of the Banner shows three spheres surrounded by a circle, in magenta color on a white background. Of the many national and individual interpretations of this symbol, the most usual are perhaps those of Religion, Art and Science as aspects of Culture, which is the surrounding circle; or of past, present, and future achievements of humanity guarded within the circle of Eternity.

The symbol can be seen in the seal of Tamerlane, in Tibetan, Caucasian, and Scandinavian jewelry, and on Byzantine and Roman artifacts. The image of the Strasbourg Madonna is adorned with it. It can be seen in many of Roerich’s paintings, most notably Madonna Oriflamma, in which Woman is depicted as the carrier and defender of the Banner. In this sign and the motto, Pax Cultura, that accompanies it, is symbolized Roerich’s vision for humanity.

As he wrote: Let us be united — you will ask in what way? You will agree with me: in the easiest way, to create a common and sincere language. Perhaps in Beauty and Knowledge. 

The Roerichs’ efforts to promulgate such a treaty resulted, finally, on April 15, 1935, in the signing by the nations of the Americas — members of the Pan American Union — of The Roerich Pact, in the White House in Washington. This is a treaty still in force. Many individuals, groups, and associations around the world continue to promote awareness of the Pact, the Banner, and their underlying principles.

The Banner of Peace synchronized with the 13 Moon Calendar World Peace Movement in 1993 and has come to symbolically represent the mission statement of this movement; the human holon is the third force unifying the two energies of Heaven and Earth. Can we existentially realize the uniting of Psyche and Techne, Feminine and Masculine, East and West? 

Mother Earth and Father Sky bless our meditations of Love and Unity in Peace.

José and Lloydine Argüelles 

Original article by José and Lloydine Argüelles, the Founders of the Planet Art Network. Originally published on their former official web in 1999. Reconstructed by Tortuga 13:20 for the Planet Art Network. Source: (1999-2003)

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