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Gundam (TV)

Last modified: 2014-05-15 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: gundam | federated union of earth | republic of zeon | principality of zeon | neo zeon | united nations troops spacy | federal forces | anti earth-union group | titans corps |
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The original Gundam saga consists of the works set in the Universal Century timeline; later spinoffs set in alternate universes are not directly related. Usually referred to collectively as 'UC Gundam,' its setting is a future period in which the large majority of humanity has migrated off a polluted and overcrowded planet to live in giant space colonies in lunar orbit. The TV shows, OAV's, movies, novels, comics and video games are concerned largely with a series of violent conflicts between a monolithic central authority on Earth and a sucession of radically independence-minded regimes that spring up among the colonists. The principal combatants in the early part of the UC Gundam timeline are the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

Anti Earth-Union Group

[Anti Earth-Union Group]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

Given enormous freedom and an unscrupulous, power-hungry leadership, the Titans soon turn corrupt and brutal. Hunting down Zeon extremists takes a backseat to keeping the colonists in their place. After a particularely egregious atrocity — where the Titans put down an anti-Federation riot with nerve gas — the AEUG is formed. Consisting of a broad coalition, including dissident elements of the Federal goverment, defectors from the Federal Forces, moderates among the independence-minded colonists and former members of the Zeon military, the AEUG resists the Titans with mixed results. The acronym stands for 'Anti-Earth-Union Group' — I know, kind of redundant, it's written right on the flag. The design — Earth, Moon, plus a white ring for the colonies — is prabably meant as a claim toward representing the entire Earthsphere.
Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

Federated Union of Earth (Chiyuu Renpou)

[Federated Union of Earth]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

The Federation (formally, the Federated Union of Earth) is an UN-style world government that is liberal and somewhat democratic but is also corrupt, overbearing, oligarchic, paralyzed with bureaucracy and rather incompetent-and which gets progressively less liberal and democratic as the series' timeline progresses, on top. The Federation's flag is not featured that often-it never appears in the original series at all. It is, however, shown waving during the title sequence of Gundam episode 0083: Stardust Memory, where the design can be made out very clearly, though the colors are a bit iffy because of poor lighting. The flag seems to be modeled after that of the UN, with the Earth in the center of a blue field, with the diamond-shaped field possibly lifted from the Brazilian flag in a subtle attempt to suggest the Federation's somewhat banana-republic-like tendencies toward instability and repression.
Eugene Ipavec, 21 May 2003

Earth Federal Forces (Renpou-Gun)

[Earth Federal Forces]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

The flag of the Earth Federal Forces, the Earth Federation's military. The central symbol is a variant on the Federation's arms. This flag actually appears in the original series, in the scene where General Reville is being welcomed at the captured Zeonic asteroid fortress of Solomon, as well as in the Gundam: The Origin manga, at the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. This May mean that the EFF flag also serves as the flag of the Federation during the One Year War period, due to the interruption of civilian control. If so, the 'earth' design is restored to use at some point between the end of the war in Jan. 0080 and early 0083.
Eugene Ipavec, 21 May 2003

Vertical Banner

[Earth Federal Forces - vertical]
Click for a larger version
image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

This banner can be seen hanging at the back of the hall during the court-martial scene in Gundam:The 08th MS Team. I would guess it is a ceremonial version of the EFF flag.
Eugene Ipavec, 21 May 2003

Space arm of the Federal Forces

[Space arm of the Federal Forces]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

The flag of the space arm of the Federal Forces. The acronym stands for 'United Nations Troops Spacy', though the official translation has used the term 'Earth Federation Space Forces,' which also appears onscreen. The U.N.T. Army and Navy presumably also have flags, but they are never shown in the animations. This flag can be seen in a newspaper photo in Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, announcing the signing of an armistice to conclude the One Year War. The picture is in b&w, but as the symbol of the Federal Forces is shown frequently on spacecraft and uniform patches and is always red-and-gold, it is a reasonable assumption that this color scheme carries over to the flag. When shown on display screens the initials U.N.T. are punctuated, but on the treaty-signing flag they are not.
Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

Titans Corps

[Titans Corps]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

Three years after the conclusion of the war, the Delaz incident — a series of massive terrorist attacks — prompts a turn toward authoritarianism within the Federation. A new branch of the Federal Forces is established for the task of maintaining internal security and supressing anti-Federation militancy: the Titans Corps. Their flag appears now and then in Zeta Gundam, often behind Jamitov Heimann at press conferences. There is another version, with a more stylized bird and lacking the red star.
Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2004

Roundel (Technical Manual version)

[Roundel, manual version]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 January 2005

Roundel (TV version)

[Roundel, tv version]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 January 2005

This version appears in Gundam 0080, on a Medea heavy cargo aircraft.
Eugene Ipavec, 10 January 2005


Principality of Zeon (Jion Koukoku)

[Principality of Zeon]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

The Principality of Zeon is a militaristic, totalitarian regime, based in a cluster of space colonies in Side3 (L2). It starts a vicious war of agression against the Federation, nominally to gain independence and sef-determination for of all the space colonists. In practice their aim is to control the entire Earthsphere. The Zeon flag is a quite blatant ripoff of the Nazis, with the Sigil of Zeon in place of the swastika. The sigil represents Contolism, the philosophy of Zeon Zum Deikun, the founder of the Republic of Zeon. Originally, simply a philosophy of self-determination, but it is later hijacked by radical nationalists who pervert it into a fascist ideology of strenght and colonial supremacism. The Principality as originally depicted was only a fairly generic unpleasant regime, with a violently xenophobic nationalism having infected an othewise legitimate cause — the Nazi allusions were gradually introduced in assorted sequels over the course of the decade after the original Gundam series aired in 1979. This flag can be seen flying off the conning tower of a Zeon sub in Gundam 0083, among other places. in 1979. The flag can be seen flying off the conning tower of a Zeon sub in Gundam 0083, among other places.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

Origin Graphic Novel version

[Zeon, Origin version]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

An alternate version of the Zeon flag. It appears only in the Origin graphic novel, which makes certain changes to the plot and is considered a step above semi-canonical.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

MS IGLOO: Confidential Files of the One Year War version

[Zeon, MS IGLOO version]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 January 2005

Another flag of the Principality of Zeon. It is identical to the common one except that a different variant of the Sigil of Zeon appears in the center. It was used in the 2004 series MS IGLOO: Confidential Files of the One Year War (Kidou Senshi Gundam MS IGLOO: Ichinen Sensou Hiwa). An image of the flag appears here.
Eugene Ipavec, 10 January 2005

Logos Comparison

[Zeon logo, 5 versions]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 January 2005

  1. Appears in more recent productions, includind 2004's MS Igloo
  2. Appears in Gundam 0083
  3. Appears only in the 'Gundam: The Origin' graphic novels.
  4. The most common variant. Appears in Gundam 0083, 0080, Zeta and Double Zeta & elsewhere
  5. Second most common. I think I've only spotted this one on military hardware. It may be the symbol of the Zeon armed forces.

Eugene Ipavec, 1 January 2005

Regent's standard

[Zeon, Regent's standard]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 3 September 2005

a flag from the 1989 anime series "Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory." It appears in episode 8 over Haman Karn's seat of honor at a cabinet meeting. Karn holds the post of regent in the Zeon goverment-in-exile during the minority of the legitimate heir, Minerva Zabi; that would make this her standard as Regent of the Principality.
Eugene Ipavec, 3 September 2005

Neo Zeon

[Neo Zeon]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

At the end of the One Year War a faction of Zeon hardliners retreats to the Pricipality's asteroid fortress of Axis, in the asteroid belt. There they proceed to label the republican authorities at home traitors and declare themselves Neo Zeon, the legitimate embodiment of the Pricipality in exile, and sponsor acts of 'resistance' against the Feds. The Axis flag is a variant of the Principality's. This is another case where I cannot find a clear enough image to ascertain exactly which flavor of Zeon sigil is in use. But I've eliminated three, so it's a 50/50 shot. However, it should likely be labeled as provisional.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

Neo Zeon (Sweetwater Faction)

[Neo Zeon]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

After 0090, a new faction of Neo Zeon takes form in the Earthsphere, at the refugee colony of Sweetwater. They use a flag bearing a stylized winged design taken from One Year War-era Zeon military uniforms & the faction leader had been an ace in the War.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

Flag of Disputed Status

[Disputed flag]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

Just prior to the end of the One Year War the Principality of Zeon is dissolved, and the Republic of Zeon reestablished. The Republic adopts a new flag at that time, though it is uncertain whether this is a new flag or simply the restored pre-Principality flag of the Zeon Republic. It might even be the original flag of Munzo Province, as Side 3 had been known before the revolution.

The three stars are presumably a reference to the Republic's location in Side 3 at the L-2 LaGrange libration point, in lunar orbit. The object to the left is a stylized representation of a open-type O'Neill space colony cylinder — actually a screwup in the graphics dept. as Side 3 is supposed to be made up entirely of closed-type 'Viviarium' colonies.

The flag appears in a newspaper photo in the final episode of 'Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket', so all the colors are grayscale, but the design is very plain and visible. The three stars would probably look better a bit more to the right — this may be a perspective problem, but I rendered it as it appeared onscreen.

I thought this was a good example of a transitional flag — practical, neutral, a bit dull — it reminds me vaguely of the postwar Bosnian one.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 January 2005

This flag belongs to Riah Republic, which is used to be Side 6.
Kim Tiu, 2 December 2006

While the flag is not identified on screen, authoritative sources, including the now-defunct whose owner currently runs the license holder's official English-language website, have considered the event it is displayed at to be the armistice ceremony concluding the One Year War, which would mean the flag would have to represent to the Republic of Zeon (the Riah Republic had been neutral). Expert opinion isn't infallible, of course.
Eugene Ipavec, 14 January 2005