Russian and American symbolism

Most countries are built on myths, almost unanimously accepted as culturally and socially binding. Symbols, apart from myths, play an important role in shaping the perception one has in relation to authority, at least on a theoretical level. In practice not many people pay attention to the symbols around them and the degree in which we process them on the unconscious level can be debated. Symbols are codes and in order to decode these you need the key and depending on your own development and cultural background you may unlock different meanings although rarely contradictory.

Back to our subject; we will discuss the case of two superpowers that paved the roads humanity took during the 20th century. The United States (as I have stated in the "American Dream" series) is a country built around the ideas of freedom and democratic participation in politics with materialism as a pseudo-religious value. Russia never actually embraced democracy because it was more often faced with foreign threats and after becoming strong enough they pursued their own imperialist agenda with the people coming second and third.

Russia State Seal

    The two headed eagle first appeared in Russia in the XV-th century in the Grand Duchy of Muscovy. It was brought to russian lands by Sophia Paleolog, a Byzantine princess who married Ivan III. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Sophia and her family fled towards Italy. Her marriage with the Grand Prince Ivan III was also a political stunt on the part of the Muscovite because his plan of creating a powerful state rested on creating a link with the past in order to legitimize the present.

    To this day it remained a symbol of the state with the exception of the Soviet period. The three crowns on the seal symbolize the unity of the three nations of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. This is one of the emotional reasons why Russians fight for Ukraine. The double headed eagle is a common symbol in heraldry. St. George slaying the dragon placed in the center of a seal is a strong Christian element which can also symbolize the active role the states wants to adopt.
    Main color: red

Grand Seal of the United States

Obverse (front) Reverse (back)

    The Grand Seal of the United States is actually composed of two images first used in 1782. The obverse is used as the national coat of arms of the country. Since 1935 both sides of the seal have appeared on the one dollar bill sparking great controversy and giving rise to numerous theories related to the occult message of the images. Regarding the obverse, a bold eagle with wings outstretched supports a shield and holds in the left 13 arrows (representing the 13 original states, funny thing while knowing how the number is regarded in American culture) and an olive branch in the right. In its beak it clutches a ribbon with the text "e pluribus unum" (out of many, one). Over its head 13 stars (mullets, one for each of the colonies) on a blue field are arranged to form a six pointed star.

    The reverse is even more interesting being the "occulted" part. An unfinished pyramid with 13 steps and an "all seeing eye" on top. "Annuit Coeptis" ( 'God ?' favors our undertakings), Novus Ordo Seclorum (New Order of the Ages) and 1776 in Roman numerals are written. One of the messages contained in this arrangement of symbols is that America was founded and exists with a divine mission. Something that in the Russian seal is suggested in the American case it is clearly expressed.
    Main color: blue.


    The eagle as a symbol is the king of birds, incarnation, substitute and messenger of Zeus/Jupiter and of the Sun. It also stand for superior spiritual levels and in the Middle East the bicephalous eagle stand for the supreme power while in Central Asia it is often shown on top of the Pillar of the World. In some degree these coat of arms are introductions to the countries in question, to the underlying philosophy and historic events that influenced their conception.

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