Monday, 22 February 2016

The Green Of Earth And Home

Let us follow a chain of associations through the works of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, James Blish and Poul Anderson.

"We pray for one last landing
"On the globe that gave us birth;
"Let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies
"And the cool, green hills of Earth."
-Robert Heinlein, The Green Hills of Earth (London, 1967), p. 141.

Asimov: a story called "Mother Earth."

Blish: a novel called Earthman, Come Home and, in another work, sister planets called "Home" and "Rathe."

"...Homelike splashes of green."
-Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), p. 273.

"...a longing seized her for the cool green hills of home."
-Poul Anderson, For Love And Glory (New York, 2003), p. 178.

I propose the Terrestrial tricolor:

blue for the oceans;
white for clouds;
green for life.

Further, alternative human traditions could be celebrated by an optional symbol in the lower corner of the green band. I favor a red star but expect blog readers to have other ideas.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    There's also the standard of the Terran Empire: a stylized sunburst on a royal blue field.

    More seriously, I doubt a blue, white, green tricolor flag will ever be adopted by a unified Earth, because I don't think Earth will be "unified" any time soon, if ever. And certainly NOT by peaceful, rational means!

    After all, our current "international" institutions have either failed or are faced with deep hostility and comtempt. NO one takes the UN seriously or believes it does any real good. And the European Union is an oppressive bureaucratic monstrosity more and more resented by the nations of Europe (we both know the UK might well leave the EU).


  2. Thank you, Sean. A serious response but then this is a serious subject. And, of course, to link this post to the previous one, we do not need or want any forcible unification by a single group imposing its idea of order on the global population.
    What I hope for is a federation freely entered into by self-governing groups and communities around the world.
    Back to what started this post, I think that Anderson must have modeled his phrase "...the cool green hills of home..." on Heinlein's "...the cool, green hills of Earth."

    1. Kaor, Paul!

      If our Earth is ever unified, it will probably be by chaotic, terrible, and messy means. After all, I think I remember Hloch in THE EARTHBOOK OF STORMGATE saying that was how the Solar Commonwealth eventually arose. And, then, of course, it was replaced by the Terran Empire after the Commonwealth collapsed.

      I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "self-governing groups and communities". Large nations disintegrating into smaller and smaller states?. THAT, in my view, will only encourage a Napoleon type to arise and try conquering all these temptingly weak little states! Another possibility is a small state getting ambitious and conquering more and more of its neighbors.

      And let's not forget, the avowed goal of fanatical Muslim jihadists IS to eventually conquer the entire world and impose a global caliphate on us. It does not matter how crazy and insane that seems to us--not when the jihadists BELIEVE in that goal. Far too many will die before that threat is put down.

      Yes, I agree, Poul Anderson DID have Heinlein in mind when he wrote "...the cool green hills of home."


    2. Sean,
      I am not sure what I mean either. Just something more democratic, representative and participative than any current systems. But it will be the work of generations and populations to build something better - and to deny power to any would-be Napoleons.
      I liked the progression I found from "green hills of Earth" to Earth as Home to "Home-like green..." to "green hills of home." It is always good to find traces of Heinlein in his successors.

    3. Kaor, Paul!

      And my view is that the only way to get more "real" democracy is to decentralize power in any state, large or small. And I'm skeptical that ALL would be Napoleons will be frustrated.

      I suspect PA had those Heileinian allusions deliberately written in. He did have a habit of doing that.


    4. Sean,
      Thanks. My email has frozen so I might become sluggish in seeing and responding to comments.
      I have also got confused and pressed "delete" a couple of times but have then cancelled the deletion. I apologize in advance if I accidentally delete any comments. All comments remain welcome!