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Thread: Suggestion: the flag of Ming

  1. #1
    NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY Fryz's Avatar
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    Suggestion: the flag of Ming

    Well, since Magna Mundi has improved lots of asian elements, I'm really happy to see the extreme-orient part of game can be more accurate, but why the flag of Ming, or lets say the font of the character Ming(明) keep being like some defaut PC input font?

    Especially when the calligraphy during that time was like this:

    If you google "明代书法"(Ming dai shu fa, ming calligraphy) you will find lots of these things, there're many options: even among the existing input fonts, the current one is still very very pale...
    Last edited by Fryz; 08-08-2011 at 13:02.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fryz View Post
    Well, since Magna Mundi has improved lots of asian elements, I'm really happy to see the extreme-orient part of game can be more accurate, but why the flag of Ming, or lets say the font of the character Ming(明) keep being like some defaut PC input font?

    Especially when the calligraphy during that time was like this:
    http://www.wenhuacn.com/shufa/articl...articleid=7816

    If you google "明代书法"(Ming dai shu fa, ming calligraphy) you will find lots of these things, there're many options: even among the existing input fonts, the current one is still very very pale...
    Can you sugest a proper flag of Ming?
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  3. #3
    I never learned calligraphy after the age of 8, so I doubt I would be able to reproduce any real calligraphy.

    Is there any calligraphy-like font I can find online? I don't know much about the Chinese internet, so maybe you can find it faster than I can.
    Member of the Magna Mundi team once upon a time, in charge of Asia

  4. #4
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    I know that there are chinese font sets on the Internet, you also can install chinese language for Windows and the chinese sets will be installed to the fonts folder.

  5. #5
    NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY Fryz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubik View Post
    Can you sugest a proper flag of Ming?
    Errr chinese didn't use flags at that time, military banners did exist but a national flag meant nothing to a Ming buddy

    So maybe a character flag is still the best choice..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ese Khan View Post
    I never learned calligraphy after the age of 8, so I doubt I would be able to reproduce any real calligraphy.

    Is there any calligraphy-like font I can find online? I don't know much about the Chinese internet, so maybe you can find it faster than I can.
    Me stopped learning at around 14 or 15, now I regret.....

    Here's a chinese font download site, in Chinese..
    but I guess google translation will work properly

    In the first decades this was loved by the emperors, not really because of the script, the rulers liked the compliments the calligraphists wrote.

    During the whole period of Ming, Semi-cursive script (行书) and cursive script (草书) was two popular scripts

    So if we search "行"(xing, semi-cursive) in that site I just gave above...there're 5 pages of various versions

    and if we search "草"(cao, cursive)...
    two pages

    I'm not a expert in middle age banners and flags, so I'm afraid that my opinions may be not very accurate, but some maybe the scripts used in Paibian (牌匾, literally "tablet" or "inscribed board") can be some kind of model too:


    And here's some flags I've found
    this is a taiping flag, a bit too late but shows how a traditional non-manchu chinese flag would be like:
    the character in middle is Chen ( family name )

    this is a Ming civil trading ship flag:
    the text below: From Great Ming Quanzhou Jinjiang county to some place (cant read) for trade blahblah...

    Ming military banner, the flying tiger banner ( dont know if it's real )
    Last edited by Fryz; 08-08-2011 at 13:03.
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  6. #6
    Thanks Fryz, if nothing else at least I have a more cursive font now (I had no idea what "semi-cursive" was until I saw the Chinese characters for it )

    Granted flags for Asian states is a difficult business because Coat of Arms or state flags was an alien concept to most Asian states. Both Korean and Vietnamese flags in the game, for example, are flags that were recorded to be as such by Europeans in the closing decades of the 19th century, so there's a possibility that they might not even be appropriate to a 15th century setting.
    Military flags could be a better choice in that regard because they were at least used at the time, but whether they are appropriate to be used as equivalents of state flags is yet another problem.
    Last edited by Ese Khan; 08-08-2011 at 00:58.
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  7. #7
    NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY Fryz's Avatar
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    This flag seems to appear in some TV series or what, I found it on a Chinese history forum.
    But someone replied that "It's only a military banner, the Vermilion Bird of the South, there is also Azure Dragon of the East, White Tiger of the West, and Black Tortoise of the North, not a national flag"

    But (still a but...) the Vermilion Bird represents the fire and the south, which is sometimes said also the symbol of Ming:
    According to "the therapy of representing elements of dynasties", Yuan (Mongol) is represented by gold, and fire melts (defeats) the gold, and since Yuan is from the north, against the south of Vermilion bird. And as the Ming character means "light", it's so related to the fire...
    It's also related to Manichaeism ( in chinese it's called Ming religion ), one faction of supporters fore Zhu Yuanzhang, Zhu Yuanzhang himself was once a Manichaeist after he joined the rebellion against Yuan.(He was buddhist before and after founding Ming he seems do not believe in Manichaeism anymore either, he's kinda realist I'd say:\)

    well...it's complicated

    Anyway, though I'm really not sure what they actually used, a character flag is perhaps the most accurate...
    The script used may be bold regular script ( it's likely to the cursive ), which looks very official..
    Last edited by Fryz; 08-08-2011 at 13:03.
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  8. #8
    NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY Fryz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ese Khan View Post
    Thanks Fryz, if nothing else at least I have a more cursive font now (I had no idea what "semi-cursive" was until I saw the Chinese characters for it )

    Granted flags for Asian states is a difficult business because Coat of Arms or state flags was an alien concept to most Asian states. Both Chinese and Vietnamese flags in the game, for example, are flags that were recorded to be as such by Europeans in the closing decades of the 19th century, so there's a possibility that they might not even be appropriate to a 15th century setting.
    If you don't mind, I can try to pick some fonts for you too, tomorrow you will get them.

    And yes, Asian flags are really a frustrating topic to follow, I just read nearly 80pages of google searching results and still cannot get even a rough idea about what a Ming flag should actually be
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Fryz View Post
    But someone replied that "It's only a military banner, the Vermilion Bird of the South, there is also Azure Dragon of the East, White Tiger of the West, and Black Tortoise of the North, not a national flag"
    I don't know about Vietnam, Korean military flags from the Chosun dynasty follow this pattern, too, with yellow dragon (Huang long) flag being used in flags in royal military processions.

    For some reason Isabella Bird, who visited Korea in the 1890's, writes that the flying tiger flag was the royal flag of the Chosun dynasty, but it was probably a mistaken notion. Nonetheless, she saw the flag in a royal military procession, and there's nothing to wonder there.

    I'd imagine Vietnam would have reserved the use of yellow dragons for royal purposes and used the 4 legendary creatures for regular military flags.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fryz View Post
    But (still a but...) the Vermilion Bird represents the fire and the south, which is sometimes said also the symbol of Ming:
    According to "the therapy of representing elements of dynasties", Yuan (Mongol) is represented by gold, and fire melts (defeats) the gold, and since Yuan is from the north, against the south of Vermilion bird. And as the Ming character means "light", it's so related to the fire...
    I thought that connecting a dynasty name with one of the 5 elements, always replacing the old element with another elements that conquers the old element, became obsolete with the establishment of Yuan. Maybe that wasn't the case?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fryz View Post
    If you don't mind, I can try to pick some fonts for you too, tomorrow you will get them.
    Sure, sounds good! Send me a PM.
    Last edited by Ese Khan; 08-08-2011 at 07:51. Reason: took down an image file
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  10. #10
    Kind of related; will there be a chance of different dynasties gaining the mandate of heaven? (Aside from the Qing that is)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Panjer View Post
    Kind of related; will there be a chance of different dynasties gaining the mandate of heaven? (Aside from the Qing that is)
    If you are talking about possible emerging tags in China (e.g. regional revolters), then they can gain cores on Chinese provinces step by step until one of them unifies China. mandate_of_heaven is used as a flag that indicates which country unified China, but it has no purpose beyond that.
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  12. #12
    NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY Fryz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ese Khan View Post
    I don't know about Vietnam, Korean military flags from the Chosun dynasty follow this pattern, too, with yellow dragons being used in flags in royal military processions

    For some reason Isabella Bird, who visited Korea in the 1890's, writes that the flying tiger flag was the royal flag of the Chosun dynasty, but it was probably a mistaken notion. Nonetheless, she saw the flag in a royal military procession, and there's nothing to wonder there.

    I'd imagine Vietnam would have reserved the use of yellow dragons for royal purposes and used the 4 legendary creatures for regular military flags.
    Chosun dynasty seems to be very loyal to Ming and quite initiative to accept chinese culture, in this point I'm not really sure which will be the original creator of the flying tiger banner, in <Guan Chang Xian Xing Ji>(官场现形记,A record of official socity, in korean I guess it's 관장현형기)episode VI the author mentioned also the banner, among with the commander banner, the general banner, the charge banner etc... but it's a late Qing novel so who knows...but this is interesting, at least we do find exact documents telling things, no so frustrating.

    The four legendary animals might be the only pattern of military banners before the western vexillology appeared in the area, so I think Vietnam used the animals too, they adopted lots of chinese patterns.

    I thought that connecting a dynasty name with one of the 5 elements, always replacing the old element with another elements that conquers the old element, became obsolete with the establishment of Yuan. Maybe that wasn't the case?
    Oh yes and no, Mongols didnt really care about this, but Zhu Yuanzhang and his supporters - in order to have more nominal legitimacy as rebels - maybe seriously did ;D
    And one thing interesting is that let's say the rules of the elements and the changement of the dynasties can be changed, at the beginning Qin was not considered as a real dynasty in case of its tyranny, but afterward it was counted again. As you know one element can destroy its opposite and at meantime raise another apposite element, like this:

    the water destroy the fire and raise the wood

    In this theory, the changements between Han and Yuan is following the "raise" rule:
    Han(fire)→ Wei( earth)→ Jin( gold)→ North Wei(water)→ North Zhou( wood )→ Sui( fire)→ Tang( earth )→ Later Liang( gold )→ Later Han( water )→ Later Zhou( wood)→ Song( fire )→ Jurchen Jin( earth )→ Yuan( gold )
    This was begun by Wang Mang, to provide a legal support for his usurping, before his short-life dynasty the rule was different, the representing elements were different too.
    Their point here is the new dynasties, as having the mandate of heaven, are very rightful to "succeed" the former ones.

    After Ming's rising the rule was once to the "destroying" one, because at that time the Mongols were sure the enemy, so Ming doesnt need to succeed, they need to push mongols out.
    But they reserved the representing elements of former dynasties, so Ming is fire, Qing is water, and Republic of China (Taiwan) is earth, so PRC is wood=.=
    Sure, sounds good! Send me a PM.
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    and here's a version I made for the divergence V2 mod, dunno if this will suit
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Fryz View Post
    and here's a version I made for the divergence V2 mod, dunno if this will suit
    What's the divergence V2 mod?

    I think the font looks too edgy for my liking. But it has more handwritten feel to it, so it's the right direction.

    Btw, the new forum rule seems to prohibit external links or images except for a few exceptions. I'm taking down mine, so I suggest taking down yours too. I've seen them already, too.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ese Khan View Post
    What's the divergence V2 mod?
    It's a Victoria 2 mod. Not my favorite, but a very nice work. It has many country-forming possibilities in it.

  15. #15
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    Maybe with the black mark and the more pale yellow of the other pic? I mean, it looks more "polished" and less simple that way.
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    NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY Fryz's Avatar
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    I did a calligraphy database search, well, it's more complicated than I've imagined, coz the form of scripts was different, way too ancient to read today

    here are some first suitable(maybe) results, some recorded writing by ancient masters, they happened to write this character in some articles or what

    Cai Xiang's version, be attention the left part here is "eye" but not nowaday "sun"

    Xuanzong Emeperor of Tang dynasty, seems very solemn to me


    Wen Zhengming's work, maybe too handwriting?


    Errrrrr.........ignore that url on pics plz, I just didn't edit these pictures
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  17. #17
    I am glad I happened to stumble into this thread. I have done a TON of work on Asian flags for my own mods for personal use, as the flags used in EUIII right now are terribly inaccurate for the timeline of the game. Obviously, as we all know, there was no concept of "national flags" at the time and so it can be very difficult to come up with something, but what I try to do is get the one flag that is most representative of the nation / dynasty as used during the time frame of the game (sourced from comtemporary paintings, modern paintings, flags at historic sites / museums etc.) The misconception is that because there were no national flags at the time, that you can't just use any flag. But that's not true, as the banner carried by the Emperor's troops or flown behind the Emperor usually has the most representative power:

    Ming: Ming flags at the time are very well known as they had several (beautiful) war banners that were representative of many different things. However, there is a very distinctive Ming flag that is often flown at historic Ming sites in China (i.e. Nanjing City Wall, Ancient Ming Palace, etc.,) the flag looks like this:

    Be careful with internet sources, as I have seen many fake Ming flags, including one beautiful blue one that has a moon centered on a sun - which came from a blog. The flag above, I can vouch for as have seen with my own eyes on the Nanjing City Wall and it's the one I use for my games.

    Wu: The Wu are really one of the only small Chinese revolter states (who eventually become Ming) who have a prominent flag that you can find all over China. It is a Yellow flag with red border and black character centered in the middle, like below...

    You can probably find flags for one or two other revolter states here or there, but none are nearly as prominent as Wu, and it would be extremely time consuming to do so, so I just stick with the Wu flag and then create generic character flags for the other revolter states except for....

    Jin: As we all know the Jin flag is extremely important because the Manchus would become the Jin 金 (I don't mean 晋) before they took over the Chinese heartland and became the Qing. I have seen paintings (though not contemporary, more like 18th century paintings, but the design itself is a common Chinese convention so the evidence says it's closer to anything else we can come up with by guessing.) The paintings show the Jin as having a main banner that is similar to the Ming flag above, except for the fact that it is dark blue (almost black), and the character 明 is replaced with 金 inside the white center.

    Qing: The Qing flag used in EUIII is a product of the late 19th century and is well out of the game's time frame. Qing military banners and flags are well known and easy to find online. I used the yellow banner of the eight banner army as the flag of not only the Qing, but of the Manchus also (probably more relevant for the Manchus), as that was clearly the MAIN banner, was commanded by Hong Taiji and Nurhaci and was referred to as the Emperor's banner. Also, if you are not comfortable using that, the beautiful blue and golden Qing coat of arms is also very easy to find online and is much more relevant to the time period of the game. I also, do an eight banner army alternate to separate the Qing from the Manchus which takes all the banners or the four original and consolidates them onto one flag, but this looks too European sometimes.

    Japan: The Japanese flag in the game is also a product of the late 19th century and is outside of the game's timeframe. A much more common flag used by Japanese armies and even a few emperors (though the name is escaping me) is a flag that is identical to the modern national flag of Japan (without the rays, just the circle centered on a plain background.) This flag is very linked to Japanese culture and was carried into many Japanese battlefields, etc. The most common versions of this flag for the time period of the game were a gold sun on red background, red sun on white background (like today's flag), gold sun on white background and gold / red sun on black background. A very prominent emperor used the red sun on white background.

    Korea / Joseon Dynasty: Again, the flag used in the game is a modern convention. While Korean flags are very hard to come by, Yi Songgye's flag, is very well known it is shown flying behind almost every royal painting of him. There are also later Joseon paintings that show the flag. It is a very pretty red flag with a blue dragon on it which I can't find a link to or a painting to, but I do have a mini version of it in my game which you can PM me for (not on my home computer now.) Also, the Joseon coat of arms is easy to find on wikipedia or google, so that could also be used (though it's not nearly as good looking.)

    I actually did most of this work for another mod, but I am happy to share this with anybody in order to make anybody's Asia playing experience more authentic, as EUIII, while doing a good job with Europe did a terrible job with Asia (I mean...decision for Ming to become Qing..???? Come on!?!?! That's like Byzantines becoming Ottomans!) So, I do a ton of modding work for my own Asia game and I really really hope Magna Mundi can do something special here.

    Also, if anybody wants to know anything about early flags (I did a lot of work on 14th century Asia, i.e. Yuan, Goryeo, etc.), then let me know : )
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  18. #18
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    I can say for certain that rebelcross's flag of Ming is more historically accurate.

    Slightly off-topic, but are the plans for Chinese revolter states in Magna Mundi the same as back in EU3?

  19. #19
    NO_TEXT_FOR_KEY Fryz's Avatar
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    rebelcross' flag is maybe the most accurate one I'd say, since we can really know how it ( if that existed ) actually looked like, this one should be widely admitted IMO.
    Though I'm still searching in <中国礼制史> ( Zhongguo Lizhi Shi, the History of Chinese Manners) and other books to have more details

    In the end that's still real books who can solve the problems, internet sources, like rebelcross said, sometimes are really messed up.
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  20. #20
    I think the scripts in rebelcross' are probably the most accurate (BTW I've been to that same ming fortress as where he took the photo and it's great to see) The more cursive scripts weren't used generally for such official purposes, so the either the standard script or the "clerical" script in his photo are more suitable.

    Also, most documents and official inscriptions generally refer to the dynasty as 大明, as opposed to just 明.

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