After the World War, the League slowly consolidated its power, as former colonies joined and formed a counter-weight to European imperial interests. Twenty years after the war, the Edison-Tesla Corporation discovers a startling technology and places it under League control, which granted the League the ability to rule through ultimate economic power.
When the League of Nations was founded in 1920, it did not have any flags or other official insignia. Various sections of the organization used different symbols in their activities. The question of a common flag was raised repeatedly, but any agreement on the issue was prevented by national government which feared the League would supersede their own power and authority.
Eventually, one design came to unofficially represent the League as a whole; two stars on a blue pentagram, symbolizing the five continents and the “five races of mankind”. In addition, the name of the organization was included in English and French.
The design was never overly popular, and never formally endorsed by the great assembly, but the flag was flown on all official occasions and used whenever the League had to be represented by a symbol. A simplified version was eventually adopted by the League assembly in 1938, when the flag was used during military action against the Japanese in Manchuria. The main symbol – the stars and pentagon – remained unchanged, but the League’s name was dropped.
The flag was again changed in 1953, during the height of the Russian War, also known as the World War. The change was minor; the blue pentagon was replaced by a circle; it was felt that this helped the star stand out. The symbolism was changed from “the five continents” to “one Earth”.
When the World War ended, the League of Nations quietly changed the flag again, mostly to disassociate it from the bloodshed of the war. As the League had gained preeminence in international affairs, it was decided that a break with the past was needed, without forgoing the symbolism. The stars were removed with five stars, which were arranged around the blue circle. The stars symbolized “the people” rather than the old-fashioned “five races”, while the circle continued to stand for the blue planet, Earth.
The circle-and-stars flag was flown for fifty years before it was felt that a final, more “modern” and “inspired” design was required. The circle was moved to the canton, and the stars continued to encircle it. The blue color was darkened for additional contrast. The symbolism of the new flag remains one world, uniting its people; but the main field of white gains dominance to symbolize the peace the League of Nations is tasked with keeping.
The second part of the history of Terra deals with the second extended war in the 20th Century.
The “World War” began as a war in Europe, which quickly spread around the world. It was, at first, called “The Russian War” by everybody except the Russians, who called it “The War of Restoration” if they called it something at all. It was this global conflict that cemented the League of Nation’s Role as a “world government”.
Terra is an alternate history version of Earth. It forms a “meta-setting” that connects several of my worlds because the Terrans eventually discover a way to travel between parallel universes, but it’s easy to just consider it as an alternate history and to use it as a setting for more traditional “modern” stories or role-playing adventures if you want to use something a little less like our mundane world.
The history consists of a lot of text, so I’ll split the setting up into several postings.
Point of Divergence
Napolean’s war against Russia didn’t occur until 1813. The outcome was the same – Napoleon’s Grande Armée was decimated in Russia, but it delayed the fall of the French Empire to 1815 instead of a year earlier.
Summary of Subsequent Developments
As the British continued to be occupied by the war against Napoleon, the war of 1812 ended with an American victory and in partial annexation of Canada by the US. The enmity arising from this strained US-British relations and led to greater confidence in Germany that the Americans would not enter the war on the allied side. The Zimmermann Telegram was never sent, removing an important justification for war for Woodrow Wilson.
The US finally did enter the war, as a victory of the central powers was seen as undesirable, but later and more cautiously; the Great War ground on until the Spanish Flu ravaged the world. The post-war situation was radically altered, the League of Nations was strengthened and eventually became a de-facto world government after a brutal war against Communist Russia and Imperial Japan.