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Jun 6·edited Jun 6Liked by Mark Changizi

Symbols are speech. The earliest form of speech. Like ancient cave drawings that predate hieroglyphics or an alphabet. There is a universality to symbols that are more widely understood than an unfamiliar language. As the excerpt you read about the drawings of children around the world being very similar explains.

Colors are symbols. Mascots are symbols. Flags are symbols. Symbols are very powerful forms of speech, because they are so easily understood at a very basic level of our brains, our child brains. Symbolic speech can be inclusive or exclusive, depending on associations with a symbol that results in inclusion or exclusion.

In gangland, blue apparel and markings are associated with Crips, red are associated with Bloods. Divisive or inclusive. Symbolic speech with enough power of division behind it that can and does result in violence, even murder. For wearing the wrong symbol. Speaking 'wrongly.'

In team competitions mascots are symbols that fire up supporters and antagonize opponents. Often passionately. Futbol mascots and colors in Europe and Latin America can and does result in violence. Riots in stadiums. Even murders. For wearing the wrong symbol. Speaking 'wrongly.'

Flags are official symbols. Carrying even more divisive weight behind them than most other symbols (trailing only religious symbols). Entire peoples and nations will rally to or rally against national flags. Wars are fought by combatants under flags, symbols of their inclusion in one nation or exclusion from another. Mass glorious or ignominious deaths, depending on which side is speaking, wrongful or rightful.

Flags needn't be just national ones. A Confederate flag in 2000 equated with rebelliousness to authority or racial hatred. A Rainbow flag equated with inclusivity of non-traditional relationships or exclusivity from traditional relationships. Speech. Hateful or loving, depending on perspective. That can get one punished, even jailed and fined in some jurisdictions for displaying or desecrating it. Can even result in violence.

Amulets are symbols. Speech. Powerful symbolic speech in many cultures and groups. A Christian Cross. A Jewish Star. A Muslim Moon. Nordic Runes. Energy stones, bones, carvings, all are symbols. Speech. Health. Wealth. Power. Fertility. Happiness. Speech. Wars fought invoking or provoking the power of those symbols, the speech they convey.

An interesting symbol from Roman times is a fascinum, a winged phallus:


This symbol was speech saying that there was infectious disease, contagion, threats to health in the environment that needed to be protected against. The fascinum both communicated the threat and were believed to protect against it.

Like masks.

Masks are and always were intended to be symbolic speech in the same exact way that winged phallus's were. "Warning! Dangerous disease! Stay apart! We're serious!" The free faces of the unmasked were symbols of the opposing side. "There's nothing to fear. This is bullshit. Not a slave. Wake up."

Division. Inclusive, exclusive. Teams. Obey Authority, care! vs Freedom! Team Authority punishes Team Freedom for their speech. Their speech being free faces that spoke in opposition to the speech that symbolic mask wearers and enforcers rallied to like a flag into battle. The same type of violence visited on those who wear the wrong gang color, support the wrong futbol team, fly the wrong national flag in times of conflict.

Symbols are powerful speech. Even children understand them at their core. The effects of demanding children wear symbolic masks in social settings, even in the home will be long lasting. One of the most troubling effects will be what forced masks have always symbolized. the speech it conveys:


Slavery. Children, who masking was normalized for, have been taught that that slavery is freedom. With their very basic child brain's understanding of symbols and speech. The power of the speech in a symbol is profound.

The Roman's had it right. The Winged Phallus speech conveyed the risk without the humiliation and subjugation of a mask.

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