|Source: Venezuela Translating the Revolution|
Iconic symbols play a role in politics. Shapes and colours resonate and stand for ideologies and movements in ways that are historical rich and seeming substantial.
Red suggests socialism. Green, the environment movement. Pink -- gay and lesbian rights. Purple: Womens Liberation. The rainbow of colours -- a congregation and community of different peoples. Black: Anarchism.... Aboriginal Australia has its own three colours.
This colouring in of political allegiance has also been associated with shapes -- a shape to go with the colour. So Pink went with a triangle, and the Greens here snaffled the triangle shape to patent a Greens symbol by coloring it to preference. Further left, flags predominated and maybe clenched fists: Red flags. Graphics of black fists. But flags and fists have been the norm for the new left.
Aside: I've never been much of a fister. Only if pushed by immense peer pressure will I raise my fist aloft. It may be a traditional choreographed moment within the chorus of The Internationale , but usually hands -- my hands anyway -- are put to other uses.
For us socialists while there have been an array of symbolic shapes to draw upon historically -- the hammer and sickle, the red wedge or the red flag -- often the star has been neglected although in some countries it is banned!. Stars were a potent theme in the iconography of the old communist parties. Unlike the Southern Cross on the Australian flag which denotes geography, stars on the flags of countries like Cuba can refer in the popular imagination to that country's politics.
But while we are celebrating the star -- dusting off the cob webs and polishing it up -- in Venezuela it is getting a make over and the images above suggest how creative that make over can be.
Personally I'm so over red flags and outside a few bods on Mayday marches the red flag rarely gets an outing today.
But a red star to match the Greens triangle patent....I like the idea. That it is here presented as a kite (and elsewhere as a flower to be nurtured and cared for) is a creative renovation of a theme.
One complication: on a red star, which way is up?
Unfortunately, the five-pointed red star, a pentagram, doesn't make for good kite flying aerodynamics if one wanted to make it air born. as the boy above is represented. So cutouts, stencils, profiles and totems are the only way to go. Lettering inside the boundaries of the star is also problematical. But as a once-upon-a-time street theatre type and puppeteer, I think the red star has a lot of street promise.