Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Ensis Corporate Logo

At several places in the Saga you will hear about a certain logo, the Ensis Corporate logo, appearing on various vehicles, jets, and uniforms. With some chagrin, I find it necessary to admit that it is never described... of course there is plenty throughout the Saga that is never described, or very poorly described, and perhaps someday those omissions will be remedied. (I especially lament the lack of maps - I have made sketches and most things are topologically sound and hopefully consistent throughout the narrative, but my draftsmanship is rudimentary at best... Another time, perhaps.) In this simpler case, however, I have managed to coax the machinery into helping me out, and so I am now able to show you this very interesting logo.

However, unless you have read sufficiently far into the Saga, you will not know what Ensis is. For those who haven't yet dared, I will tell you just a little. It is a huge conglomerate of businesses, mostly of the Engineering sort, which have a heritage dating back into the 1800s. In the subcreated world of the Saga, it is very well-known, and generally admired - surprisingly, the admiration is not that of sycophants or some grudging kind of obeisance to vast wealth-and-power, but an honest kind of feeling - a company that does care (generally, anyway) and is very serious about Getting Things Done. That is because the founder of its predecessor company (which was Fisher Engineering) was the very famous John Fisher, an engineer of the mid-1800s, about whom you will eventually learn more. Fisher and his father-in-law, Gregory Mortimer, and their financial backer, associate, and close friend Joseph Chandler, formed this company in the late 1840s, and invested significant sums including a large fraction of the profits from the Chandler railroad linking Quayment to Stirling.

There, that ought to do for a start - except for one more detail. Unlike these intelligent gentlemen, you may not have studied Latin, and so I shall tell you that the word ensis is Latin for "sword".

Now, the corporate logo of Ensis, which their President has kindly given permission to reproduce here:

Description: On a blue background: a regular heptagon, pointing vertically, with seven gold stars at the vertices. Gold lines link every star with every other (this is the graph known to mathematicians as K7). Upon it is placed a sword proper with three gemstones (red, white, green) on its hilt, here omitted for technical reasons.
In heraldry the sword, unless blazoned as inverted, is erect and has its point in chief; it is generally proper which is quite correctly argent, but in painting may be given the metallic-blue sheen of tempered steel.
[Franklyn, Heraldry, 73]
It may be noted that this blue (sometimes called Ensis blue) is actually a background color: hence the logo on Ensis uniforms (which are of that blue) is simply the seven netted stars and the sword. When it is used on something which is some other color (e.g. a vehicle) the logo appears on the stellated heptagon as shown here (That is the closed figure formed by visiting every second vertex in a regular heptagon somewhat larger than the one on which the stars are placed, and filling the entire enclosed space with Ensis blue.)

Oh yes... just in case you are curious about the symbolism underlying this logo, you will have to wait for future revelations.

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