Fasces (English: /ˈfæsiːz/, Latin: [ˈfa.skeːs]; a plurale tantum, from the Latin word fascis, meaning "bundle"; Italian: fascio littorio) is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging. The fasces had its origin in the Etruscan civilization and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The axe originally associated with the symbol, the Labrys (Greek: λάβρυς, lábrys) the double-bitted axe, originally from Crete, is one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization. To the Romans, it was known as a bipennis. Commonly, the symbol was associated with female deities, from prehistoric through historic times.
The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power, law and governance. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry: it is present on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime coin and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives; and it was the origin of the name of the National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the term fascism is derived).
During the first half of the 20th century both the fasces and the swastika (each symbol having its own unique ancient religious and mythological associations) became heavily identified with the authoritarian/fascist political movements of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. During this period the swastika became deeply stigmatized, but the fasces did not undergo a similar process.
The fact that the fasces remained in use in many societies after World War II may have been due to the fact that prior to Mussolini the fasces had already been adopted and incorporated within the governmental iconography of many governments outside Italy. As such, its use persists as an accepted form of governmental and other iconography in various contexts. (The swastika remains in common usage in parts of Asia for religious purposes which are also unrelated to early 20th century European fascism.)
A few artifacts found showing a thin bundle of rods surrounding a two-headed axe point to a possible Etruscan origin for fasces, but little is known about the Etruscans themselves. Fasces symbolism might be derived via the Etruscans from the eastern Mediterranean, with the labrys, the Anatolian, and Minoan double-headed axe, later incorporated into the praetorial fasces. There is little archaeological evidence for precise claims.
By the time of the Roman Republic, the fasces had developed into a thicker bundle of birch rods, sometimes surrounding a single-headed axe and tied together with a red leather ribbon into a cylinder. On certain special occasions, the fasces might be decorated with a laurel wreath.
The symbolism of the fasces could suggest strength through unity (see Unity makes strength); a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is very difficult to break. This symbolism occurs in Aesop's fable "The Old Man and his Sons". A similar story is told about the Bulgar (pre-Bulgarian, proto-Bulgarian) Khan Kubrat, giving rise to the Bulgarian national motto "Union gives strength" (Съединението прави силата). However, bundled birch twigs could also symbolise corporal punishment (see birching).
The fasces lictoriae ("bundles of the lictors") symbolised power and authority (imperium) in ancient Rome, beginning with the early Roman Kingdom and continuing through the republican and imperial periods. By republican times, use of the fasces was surrounded with tradition and protocol. A corps of apparitores (subordinate officials) called lictors each carried fasces before a magistrate, in a number corresponding to his rank. Lictors preceded consuls (and proconsuls), praetors (and propraetors), dictators, curule aediles, quaestors, and the Flamen Dialis during Roman triumphs (public celebrations held in Rome after a military conquest).
According to Livy, it is likely that the lictors were an Etruscan tradition, adopted by Rome. The highest magistrate, the dictator, was entitled to twenty-four lictors and fasces, the consul to twelve, the proconsul eleven, the praetor six (two within the pomerium), the propraetor five, and the curule aediles two.
Another part of the symbolism developed in Republican Rome was the inclusion of just a single-headed axe in the fasces, with the blade projecting from the bundle. The axe indicated that the magistrate's judicial powers (imperium) included capital punishment. Fasces carried within the Pomerium—the boundary of the sacred inner city of Rome—had their axe blades removed; within the city, the power of life and death rested with the people through their assemblies. During times of emergency, however, the Roman Republic might choose a dictator to lead for a limited time period, who was the only magistrate to be granted capital punishment authority within the Pomerium. Lictors attending the dictator kept the axes in their fasces even inside the Pomerium—a sign that the dictator had the ultimate power in his own hands. There were exceptions to this rule: in 48 BC, guards holding bladed fasces guided Vatia Isauricus to the tribunal of Marcus Caelius, and Vatia Isauricus used one to destroy Caelius's magisterial chair (sella curulis).
An occasional variation on the fasces was the addition of a laurel wreath, symbolizing victory. This occurred during the celebration of a Triumph - essentially a victory parade through Rome by a returning victorious general. Previously, all Republican Roman commanding generals had held high office with imperium, and so, already were entitled to the lictors and fasces.
The modern Italian word fascio, used in the twentieth century to designate peasant cooperatives and industrial workers' unions, is related to fasces.
Numerous governments and other authorities have used the image of the fasces as a symbol of power since the end of the Roman Empire. It also has been used to hearken back to the Roman republic, particularly by those who see themselves as modern-day successors to the old republic or its ideals.
Italian Fascism, which derives its name from the fasces, arguably used this symbolism the most in the twentieth century. The British Union of Fascists also used it in the 1930s. The fasces, as a widespread and long-established symbol in the West, however, has avoided the stigma associated with much of fascist symbolism, and many authorities continue to display them, including the federal government of the United States.
A review of the images included in Les Grands Palais de France Fontainebleau  reveals that French architects used the Roman fasces (faisceaux romains) as a decorative device as early as the reign of Louis XIII (1610–1643) and continued to employ it through the periods of Napoleon I's Empire (1804–1815).
The fasces typically appeared in a context reminiscent of the Roman Republic and of the Roman Empire. The French Revolution used many references to the ancient Roman Republic in its imagery. During the First Republic, topped by the Phrygian cap, the fasces is a tribute to the Roman Republic and means that power belongs to the people. It also symbolizes the "unity and indivisibility of the Republic", as stated in the French Constitution. In 1848 and after 1870, it appears on the seal of the French Republic, held by the goddess, Liberty. There is the fasces in the arms of the French Republic with the "RF" for République française (see image below), surrounded by leaves of olive tree (as a symbol of peace) and oak (as a symbol of justice). While it is used widely by French officials, this symbol never was officially adopted by the government.
The fasces appears on the helmet and the buckle insignia of the French Army's Autonomous Corps of Military Justice, as well as on that service's distinct cap badges for the prosecuting and defending lawyers in a court-martial.
Since the original founding of the United States in the 18th century, several offices and institutions in the United States have heavily incorporated representations of the fasces into much of their iconography.
The following cases all involve the adoption of the fasces as a symbol or icon, although no physical re-introduction has occurred.
The coat of arms of Cameroon consists of a shield with a banner above and below it. Behind the shield are two crossed fasces. The shield has the same color pattern as the flag of Cameroon, and in the center is a map of the nation. The scales of justice are superimposed on top of the map of the nation since 1998.Coat of arms of Cuba
The Cuban coat of arms is the official heraldic symbol of Cuba. It consists of a shield, in front of a fasces crowned by the Phrygian cap, all supported by an oak branch on one side and a laurel wreath on the other. The coat of arms was created by Miguel Teurbe Tolón and was adopted on April 24, 1906.
It is the only coat of arms of a currently socialist country that does not use any communist symbolism.Coat of arms of Ecuador
The coat of arms of Ecuador (Spanish: Escudo de armas del Ecuador) in its current form was established in 1900 based on an older version of 1845.Coat of arms of the Romanian Police
The heraldic ensigns of the Romanian Police consist of the following elements: large blue shield with a crusader golden eagle, having its head turned to the right, red peak and claws, open wings, holding a silver sword in its right claw; the green olive branch, symbolizing peace and order, replacing the mace from the coat of arms of the country. The small blue shield, placed on the eagle’s chest, having a golden balance having its scales well-balanced, in the upper part, and, in its lower part, two Roman fasces, crossed and natural; at the bottom of the external shield, on a white scarf, the motto of the ministry is written in black: Latin: LEX ET HONOR.
The balance symbolizes the social justice, highlighting the competence of the institution in the field of law enforcement. The Roman fasces evoke the attributions of the Romanian Police in a lawful state, as a guarantee of public order.Faggot
Faggot, faggots, or faggoting may refer to:
faggot or fagot, branch or twig, or bundle of these
Fascine, bundle of brushwood used in civil and military engineering
Fasces, ancient symbol of an axe bound in a bundle of rods
Faggot (unit), archaic unit of measurement for bundles of sticksFaisceau
Le Faisceau (French pronunciation: [lə fɛso], The Fasces) was a short-lived French Fascist political party. It was founded on November 11, 1925 as a far right league by Georges Valois. It was preceded by its newspaper, Le Nouveau Siècle - founded as a weekly on February 26, it became a daily after the party's creation.Fascist symbolism
Fascist symbolism is the use of certain images and symbols which are designed to represent aspects of Fascism. These include national symbols of historical importance, goals, and political policies.Fess
In heraldry, a fess or fesse (from Middle English fesse, from Old French, from Latin fascia, "band") is a charge on a coat of arms (or flag) that takes the form of a band running horizontally across the centre of the shield. Writers disagree in how much of the shield's surface is to be covered by a fess or other ordinary, ranging from one-fifth to one-third. The Oxford Guide to Heraldry states that earlier writers including Leigh, Holme, and Guillim favour one-third, while later writers such as Edmondson favour one-fifth "on the grounds that a bend, pale, or chevron occupying one-third of the field makes the coat look clumsy and disagreeable." A fess is likely to be shown narrower if it is uncharged, that is, if it does not have other charges placed on it, and/or if it is to be shown with charges above and below it; and shown wider if charged. The fess or bar, termed fasce in French heraldry, should not be confused with fasces.Flash and circle
The flash and circle is a political symbol used by several organisations. It was first used by the British Union of Fascists (BUF), and was adopted in 1935. The BUF had originally used the fasces as its symbol, first on a black disc on a gold background and later in gold with a lightning bolt struck through it on a black background. The flash and circle was designed as a more abstract depiction of the concept of the fasces incorporating the lightning of the 1933 flag within a "circle of unity" and the British national colours of red, white and blue. Oswald Mosley's post-war group the Union Movement and his National Party of Europe initiative continued to use the flash.
The American National Renaissance Party adopted the lightning bolt within a circle as their symbol, which superseded James Hartung Madole's use of the swastika. It decorated their rostrum and was worn on their armbands.
The BUF's left-wing opponents nicknamed the symbol "the flash in the pan".
The insignia of Singapore's People's Action Party (PAP) is composed of a red flash struck through a smaller blue circle on a white background. The PAP insignia is claimed to represent "action within social/racial unity" with the white background representing purity in thought and deed.A similar logo was adopted by Blocco Studentesco, the youth wing of Italy's CasaPound movement in 2006. The group has been accused of fascist propaganda.Gioventù Fascista
Gioventù Fascista ("Fascist Youth") was a magazine designed for youth in Italy under Benito Mussolini's Fascist state. Its features included stories and cartoons praising the regime and inculcating the tenets of Fascism.
Most of the magazine covers feature the fasces, and sometimes other Roman imagery; the style of its illustrations was heavily influenced by art deco.
The paper was founded on 23 March 1931 (the 12th anniversary of the creation of the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, the precursor of the National Fascist Party). Its first editor was Carlo Scorza, replaced by Achille Starace later in the first year of the magazine's existence. During its existence, Gioventù Fascista published contributions by notable Fascists, including Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Italo Balbo, Giovanni Giuriati, and Giuseppe Bottai. It was no longer in print after December 1936.Italia turrita
Italia turrita (pronounced [iˈtaːlja turˈriːta]) is the national personification or allegory of Italy, characterised by a mural crown (hence turrita or "with towers" in Italian) typical of Italian civic heraldry of Medieval communal origin. In broader terms, the crown symbolizes its mostly urban history. She often holds in her hands a bunch of corn ears (a symbol of fertility and reference to the agrarian economy); during the fascist era, she held a bundle of fasces.Lictor
The lictor (possibly from Latin: ligare, "to bind") was a Roman civil servant who was a bodyguard to magistrates who held imperium. Lictors were used since the Roman Kingdom, and according to Roman historian Livy, the custom may have originated earlier, in the Etruscan civilization.Mercury dime
The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from late 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, it gained its common name as the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. Weinman is believed to have used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens, as a model. The coin's reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace.
By 1916, the dime, quarter, and half dollar designed by Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber had been struck for 25 years, and could be replaced by the Treasury, of which the Mint is a part, without Congressional authorization. Mint officials were under the misapprehension that the designs had to be changed, and held a competition among three sculptors, in which Barber, who had been in his position for 36 years, also took part. Weinman's designs for the dime and half dollar were selected.
Although the new coin's design was admired for its beauty, the Mint made modifications to it upon learning that vending machine manufacturers were having difficulties making the new dime work in their devices. The coin continued to be minted until 1945, when the Treasury ordered that a new design, featuring recently deceased president Franklin Roosevelt, take its place. The Mercury dime was minted again but in gold for its centenary in 2016.National emblem of France
This article outlines current and historical national emblems of France, including heraldic coats of arms, first employed in the Middle Ages, as well as more recent, unofficial non- or quasi-heraldic emblems.
The French Republic currently uses two emblems:
In 1953, France received a request from the United Nations for a copy of a national coat of arms to be displayed alongside the coats of arms of other member states in its assembly chamber. An interministerial commission requested Robert Louis (1902–1965), heraldic artist, to produce a version of the Chaplain design. This did not, however, constitute an adoption of an official coat of arms by the Republic. It consists of: 1) A wide shield with, on the one end, a lion-head and on the other an eagle-head, bearing a monogram "RF" standing for République Française (French Republic). 2) An olive branch symbolises peace. 3) An oak branch symbolises perennity or wisdom. 4) The fasces, a symbol associated with the exercise of justice (the bundle of rods and an axe were carried by Roman lictors); this use of the fasces predates the adoption of this symbol by Benito Mussolini as the emblem of Italian Fascism.
One has been a symbol of France since 1912, although it does not have any legal status as an official coat of arms. It appears on the cover of French passports and was adopted originally by the French Foreign Ministry as a symbol for use by diplomatic and consular missions using a design by the sculptor Jules-Clément Chaplain.Fleur de Lys, a popular symbol during monarchical times, today used mostly by overseas people of French heritage, like the Acadians, Québécois or Cajuns.Plurale tantum
A plurale tantum (Latin for "plural only", plural form: pluralia tantum) is a noun that appears only in the plural form and does not have a singular variant for referring to a single object. In a less strict usage of the term, it can also refer to nouns whose singular form is rarely used.
In English, pluralia tantum are often words which denote objects that occur or function as pairs or sets, such as spectacles, trousers, pants, scissors, clothes, or genitals. Other examples are for collections which, like alms and feces, cannot conceivably be singular. Other examples include suds, entrails, electronics, outskirts, odds, tropics, riches, surroundings, thanks, and heroics.
In some languages, pluralia tantum refer to points or periods of time (for example, Latin kalendae "calends, the first day of the month", German Ferien "vacation, holiday") or to events (for example, Finnish häät "wedding"). In some cases there is no obvious semantic reason for a particular noun to be plurale tantum. The Hebrew mayim "water", Chichewa madzí "water", Dutch hersenen "brain", Swedish pengar and Russian den'gi [деньги] "money" are pluralia tantum.
A bilingual example is the Latin word fasces, which was brought into English; when referring to the symbol of authority, it is a plurale tantum noun in both languages.Sammarinese Fascist Party
The Sammarinese Fascist Party (Italian: Partito Fascista Sammarinese) or PFS was a fascist political party that ruled San Marino from 1923 to 1943.It was founded and led by Giuliano Gozi, a Sammarinese World War I veteran who volunteered in the Royal Italian Army, on 10 August 1922, and was modelled directly on the National Fascist Party of surrounding Italy. Gozi came from a distinguished family and held the posts of foreign minister (in San Marino, the foreign minister leads the cabinet) and interior minister; these two offices gave him control of the military and police. From the beginning, the party used violence and intimidation against opponents such as the Socialists. Its party newspaper was the Il Popolo Sammarinese, modelled after the Il Popolo d'Italia. In terms of policy and ideology, the party was not innovative and stuck closely to Italian Fascism. They pursued industrialization which turned a country of mostly farmers into one of factory workers. They did not adopt Anti-Jewish laws as Italy did in 1938 as the tiny country did not have any visible Jewish community.
In April 1923, Gozi was elected as the first Fascist Captain Regent. After the October elections, both Captains-Regent were Fascists and remained so in subsequent elections for the next two decades as all other political parties were banned in 1926 effectively making San Marino a one-party state. However, independent politicians continued to form a majority in the Grand and General Council until 1932. In addition, the party was split between Gozi's faction and Ezio Balducci's faction, forcing them to look to the Italian party for guidance and mediation.
In 1932, Balducci's faction started a rival newspaper, La Voce del Titano. The next year he was accused of plotting a coup and arrested by Italian authorities after fleeing to Rome. Balducci and other alleged conspirators were purged from the party and tried and sentenced to hard labour in 1934 by a special court but the punishment was never carried out.Seal of Colorado
The Seal of the State of Colorado is an adaptation of the territorial seal which was adopted by the First Territorial Assembly on November 6, 1861. The only changes made to the territorial seal design being the substitution of the words, "State of Colorado" and the figures "1876" for the corresponding inscriptions on the territorial seal. The first General Assembly of the State of Colorado approved the adoption of the state seal on March 15, 1877. The Colorado Secretary of State alone is authorized to affix the Great Seal of Colorado to any document whatsoever.
By statute, the seal of the state is two and one-half inches in diameter with the following devices inscribed thereon: At the top is the Eye of Providence or "All Seeing Eye" within a triangle, from which golden rays radiate on two sides. Below the eye is a Roman fasces, a bundle of birch or elm rods with a battle axe bound together with a ribbon of red, white and blue with the words, Union and Constitution. The bundle of rods bound together symbolizes strength which is lacking in the single rod. The axe symbolizes authority and leadership. Below the fasces is a heraldic shield bearing across the top a red sky behind three snow-capped mountains and clouds above them. The lower half of the shield has two miner's tools, the pick and sledge hammer, crossed on a golden ground. Below the shield, on a scroll, is the motto, "Nil Sine Numine", Latin words meaning "Nothing without providence" or "nothing without the Deity", and at the bottom the figures 1876, the year Colorado came into statehood.The design for the territorial seal which served as a model for the state seal or Great Seal of Colorado has been variously credited, but the individual primarily responsible was Lewis Ledyard Weld, the territorial secretary, appointed by President Abraham Lincoln in July 1861. There is also evidence that Territorial Governor William Gilpin also was at least partially responsible for the design. Both Weld and Gilpin were knowledgeable in the art and symbolism of heraldry. Elements of design from both the Weld and Gilpin families’ coats of arms are incorporated in the territorial seal.Symbolism in the French Revolution
Symbolism in the French Revolution was a device to distinguish and celebrate (or vilify) the main features of the French Revolution and ensure public identification and support. In order to effectively illustrate the differences between the new Republic and the old regime, the leaders needed to implement a new set of symbols to be celebrated instead of the old religious and monarchical symbolism. To this end, symbols were borrowed from historic cultures and redefined, while those of the old regime were either destroyed or reattributed acceptable characteristics. These revised symbols were used to instill in the public a new sense of tradition and reverence for the Enlightenment and the Republic.Watford Borough Council
Watford Borough Council is the local authority for the Watford non-metropolitan district of England, the United Kingdom. Watford is located in the south-west of Hertfordshire, in the East of England region. The council is based in the town hall on Hempstead Road.
The council consists of 36 elected members as well as a directly elected mayor, representing twelve electoral wards following a Boundary Commission review which came into effect in 1999. Each ward returns three councillors to serve four-year terms.
The coat of arms of Watford Borough Council features a fasces.