Five-pointed star

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A five-pointed star

A five-pointed star (☆) is a common ideogram used throughout the world. If the colinear edges are joined together a pentagram is produced.

The five-pointed star used in flags originates from European or Western heraldry, and the golden five-pointed star has associations with military power and war. It has also become a symbol of fame or "stardom" in Western culture.

Comparison with a pentagram[edit]

Flags[edit]

See also: Star (heraldry)

Five-pointed stars are found on many flags, generally in solid form, although some, such as the flag of New Zealand, have a different-colored outline. The pentagram appears on only two national flags, those of Ethiopia and Morocco.

Five-pointed stars appear on the flag and in the heraldic symbolism of the United States. In the U.S. context, the stars allegedly symbolize the heavens. They stand in contrast to the vexillologically rarer seven-pointed stars, such as those used in the flag of Australia.

Stardom[edit]

Hwof joanne woodward.jpg

The five-pointed star is known as a symbol of fame or "stardom". The word "star" is often used as a synonym for "celebrity",[1] and in show business a five-pointed star may be affixed to a principal performer's dressing room door to indicate they are of preeminent importance or notoriety.[2] Another example is the Hollywood Walk of Fame where famous entertainers are honored with pink terrazzo five-pointed stars along Hollywood Boulevard to commemorate their achievements within the entertainment industry.[3]

Socialism and communism[edit]

Main article: Socialist heraldry

The Red Star is a five-pointed star, coloured solidly in red, which featured ubiquitously in the former Soviet Union. It is used to symbolize socialism and in particular communism.

The Druze[edit]

Druze star.svg

The Druze, descendents of exiles from Fatimid Dynasty-ruled Egypt, have as their symbol a five-pointed star with a different color on each point, representing five principles: green for Aql "the Universal Mind/Nous", red for Nafs "the Universal Soul/Anima mundi", yellow for Kalima "the Word/Logos", blue for Sabq "the Potentiality/Cause/Precedent", and white for Talī "the Actuality/Effect/Immanence". They live mainly in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.

Ottomans[edit]

The five-pointed star is part of the symbol of the Ottoman Empire.

Bahá'í Faith[edit]

An unidentified tablet in the Báb's handwriting.
Main article: Bahá'í symbols

In the Bahá'í Faith a five-pointed star referred to as a haykal (Arabic: "temple") represents the (body of the) Manifestation of God, as described in the Súriy-i-Haykal.

"Strictly speaking the 5-pointed star is the symbol of our Faith, as used by the Báb and explained by Him."
(on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 52)

Zion Christian Church[edit]

ZCC congregation badges: Saint Engenas dove and ZCC star

The Zion Christian Church (or "ZCC") is one of the largest African initiated churches in southern Africa, with members belonging to ZCC star and members belonging to the Saint Engenas ZCC. One of the church's main symbols is the five-pointed star. ZCC star congregation members traditionally wear various badges with the symbol as part of their church uniforms.

Other uses[edit]

Five pointed stars are also used on various elevators to indicate the ground level or lobby of a building. Five pointed stars are also used on various police, fire, and paramedic badges. In sports especially in football association the star together with the badge in the uniforms represents the championships that the team wins for example the badges of the France, Spain, England national shirt badge appears one five pointed star represents one FIFA World Cup championship.

The five pointed star may also be used to symbolize the human body (feet, arms and head) as well as the five senses of human perception (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste), and likewise the Shakespearian era five wits.

Brigate Rosse[edit]

The symbol of the Italian Marxist-Leninist terrorist group Brigate Rosse is a slightly modified five-pointed star.

Order of the Eastern Star[edit]

The Order of the Eastern Star, a fraternal organization associated with Freemasonry, employs a downward-pointing star as its symbol, with the five points colored blue, yellow, white, green, and red. This emblem sometimes appears in the form of a pentagram.

Kappa Sigma[edit]

The Star and Crescent are the official symbols of Kappa Sigma comprising the fraternity badge.

Esperanto[edit]

A green five-pointed star is a symbol of Esperanto.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Synonyms For "Celebrity"". Thesaurus.com. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "The "Star" Dressing Room". MovieStaff.com. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame". WalkOfFame.com. Retrieved 13 July 2011.