Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The Soyombo is an old ideogram symbolising the Mongol's freedom and independence. As long ago as the 17th Century, it was depicted on the banners of warriors fighting against the Manchurian invaders and later, on the battle standards of the guerillas of the 1921 People's Revolution. Each element of the symbol has its own meaning. The three tongued flame crowning the emblem symbolise the nation's past, present and future prosperity: from time immemorial fire has meant the continuation of the family and the clan. Depicted underneath the flame are the sun and the crescent, both old Mongolian totems.

"We are the people whose father is the new moon and whose mother is the golden sun", say the old legends. The flame together with the sun and the crescent symbolise the prosperity and progress of the Mongolian nation. The spear or arrow tip turned downwards is supposed to signify victory over the enemy.

The two triangles in the upper and lower part of the ideogram tell about the people's determination to uphold their freedom and independence. The rectangle is the symbol of uprightness, honesty and nobility and the two smaller rectangles symbolise honesty of government and rulers.

In the centre of the Soyombo is the old symbol signifying the unity of pairs of natural elements; fire and water, earth and sky and man and woman. According to other interpretations, this also denotes two fish swimming in concentric circles. The Mongolians see fish as a symbol of vigilance since fish never close their eyes. Fish also symbolise wisdom and reason. The two vertical lines at the sides of the emblem mean friendship and staunchness. An old Mongolian saying goes, "Two friends are stronger than stone walls." In the Soyombo, these two lines are understood to be an appeal, "May the whole nation be bound together by ties of friendship turning it into an indestructible stone fortress."

Always spread like fire.
Always shine like the moon and the sun.
Always be sharp like an arrow and a spear.
Always be strong like armor.
Always be strong like a big wall
Always be watchful like fish.
Always be numerous.

No comments: