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Gundam Wing (TV)

Shin Kidou Senki Gundam W

Last modified: 2016-03-19 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: gundam | gundam wing | united earth-sphere alliance | romefeller foundation | oz | world state | white fang | earth-sphere united nation | preventer | marimeia army | winged earth | lion's head | lion's head | peace & free |
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Introduction

The 1995 anime series Gundam Wing (Shin Kidou Senki Gundam W, literally 'New Mobile War Report Gundam W') is an alternate-universe spinoff of the long-running Gundam saga, which means it shares a name and some basic thematic elements with other Gundam shows, but has a different setting, different characters and a different timeline.

The plot is rather byzantine, which accounts for the considerable proliferation of vex objects for one TV series, but as with all Gundam series the underlying theme is one of conflict between space colonists living in enormous habitats in lunar orbit and the succession of increasingly heavy-handed and obnoxious political entities that govern them from Earth. The first of the latter is the United Earth-Sphere Alliance (UESA), the military regime that is in power at the series' outset.

The series as a whole has an old-fashioned Continental feel to it — the plot was allegedly partially lifted from the Napoleonic Wars, though I personally don't quite see the resemblance — I'd say the 1848 revolutions instead, if anything.
Eugene Ipavec, 28 & 30 April 2005

Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz is a 1998 sequel, set one year after the Gundam Wing series.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 May 2005


United Earth-Sphere Alliance

[UESA flag]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 28 April 2005

The United Earth-Sphere Alliance (UESA) is the military regime that is in power at the series' outset. It is described as having been formed in order to end a protracted period of international strife.
Eugene Ipavec, 28 April 2005

A flag for the Alliance appears in episode 14 as a war trophy at a Romefeller Foundation victory party. It looks like a rather strange twist on the winged-Earth-and-ribbon design.
Eugene Ipavec, 28 April 2005


UESA's Coat of Arms

[UESA arms]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 28 April 2005

A winged-Earth-and-ribbon design serves as the UESA's coat of arms; it is featured quite unmistakably in episode 3 (on the side of a blimp, no less).
Eugene Ipavec, 28 April 2005


The Romefeller Foundation

[Romefeller Foundation flag]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 29 April 2005

The Romefeller Foundation is the chief sponsor, financier and arms supplier for the UESA. It's in equal parts industrial conglomerate, secret society, country club and massive global-domination conspiracy. The Foundation is headquartered in Bremen and counts among its membership the planet's wealthy and aristocratic elites. Its members are largely of the opinion that the hoi polloi are incapable of governing themselves competently and that their social betters should step in and do so for them. It funds the UESA to maintain law and order.

When the leadership of the UESA proposes a policy of disarmament and peace talks with colonial rebels, the Foundation decides the Alliance has outlived its usefulness, and has OZ launch a coup d'état from within the UESA military, causing the Alliance to disintegrate. After all the international disputes that the Alliance had been keeping supressed for decades resurface, the Foundation bullies the nations of the world into accepting its security guarantees, and subsequently abolishes all national borders and declares the establishment of a puppet World State.
Eugene Ipavec, 29 April & 1 May 2005

The flag of the Romefeller Foundation is a traditional banner-of-arms; a very good likeness can be made of it as it frequently appears in the Foundation's headquarters.
Eugene Ipavec, 29 April 2005

Romefeller Foundation's Coat of Arms

[Romefeller Foundation arms]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 29 April 2005

The arms of the Romefeller Foundation foundation can be blazoned as:

Parted per pale; I Bleu Celeste, a celtic cross argent [throughout]; II Argent, a bend sinister gules; [the shield] bordured or and crowned with chapeau purpure banded or. Supporters dexter and sinister twin unicorns argent rampant. In the compartment below the shield, a band or bearing unknown motto.

Eugene Ipavec, 29 April 2005


OZ

OZ is the private army of the Romefeller Foundation, originally one of its munitions-making subsidiaries that eventually morphs into a secret society and is sent to infiltrates the UESA military as the Specials Corp. 'OZ' nominally stands for 'Order of the Zodiac,' though only the acronym is ever used.
Eugene Ipavec, 1 May 2005

OZ's Terrestrial Forces

[OZ terrestrial forces]
image by Eugene Ipavec,
1 May 2005
One of its flags, can be seen in OZ leader Treize Khushrenada's office in episode 7. It is a vertical banner, dark navy blue with a thin black border, with a rather smug-looking golden lion's head. This is likely only the flag of the OZ Terrestrial Forces, whose frequently-seen symbol is a lion's head.
Eugene Ipavec, 1 May 2005

OZ's Space Forces

[OZ space forces]
image by Eugene Ipavec,
1 May 2005
The symbol of the OZ Space Force's is an armored knight's helm; its corresponding flag shows up in someone's office at the OZ lunar base at some point.
Eugene Ipavec, 1 May 2005

UESA Specials

[UESA Specials flag]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 April 2005

OZ is sent to infiltrate the UESA military as the Specials Corp. This elite branch of the UESA military has both a flag and a pennant that serves as as its colors in battle. They both appear in a montage in episode 7. On both the symbol is a version of the Alliance arms: some kind of raptor with a globe above it, clutching a ribbon, here with the caption SPEZIALI (the branches of the UESA military are named in Italian.
Eugene Ipavec, 30 April & 1 May 2005

The Specials flag is fairly similar to the regular Alliance flag, only with a red border and a more fully-rendered symbol.
Eugene Ipavec, 30 April 2005

UESA Specials pennant

[UESA Specials pennant]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 April 2005

The pennant can be seen being wielded on a battlefield by Alliance mobile suits — giant military robots — and is therefore scaled accordingly: I estimate the dimensions at no less than 5-6 m high and ~17-20 m long.
Eugene Ipavec, 30 April 2005


World State

[Romefeller Foundation flag]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 29 April 2005

The Romefeller Foundation bullies the nations of the world into accepting its security guarantees, and subsequently abolishes all national borders and declares the establishment of a puppet World State. No new symbols are given for this entity — it seems to use the flag of the Foundation.
Eugene Ipavec, 1 May 2005


White Fang colonial militia

[White Fang]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 1 May 2005

With all enemies vanquished, moderates within the Foundation seize the upper hand and start pushing for disarmament and reconciliation, only to be caught by suprise as the space colonists — having been passed around like a football by the various powers during all the developments and thoroughly exploited in the proces — finally have enough and revolt. I'm not sure whether the 'White Fang' colonial militia has an official flag, but improvised flags made of white sheets with the hand-scrawled slogan "Peace & Freedom" are in use at one point.
Eugene Ipavec, 1 May 2005


Earth-Sphere Unified Nation

[ESUN]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 May 2005

In the 1998 sequel Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, set one year after the Gundam Wing series, the war is over and a democratic, demilitarized Earth-Sphere Unified Nation has been jointly established by Earth and the space colonies. The ESUN flag: a dark red field with a wreath-enclosed golden disc, containing two concentric circles bisected by an x — a symbolic representation of the Earth as viewed from above one of the poles, I believe, and kind of a novel idea, in my humble opinion. The flag can be seen behind the podium at the Christmas observances at MO-3, at the very beginning of episode 1 of Endless Waltz, and again at the end of episode 3.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 May 2005


Preventer

[Preventer]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 May 2005

Preventer is the ESUN's security agency, which — ineffectually — opposes the Marimeia Army. Its banner — vertical and blue, with a gold/bronze "P" logo in the upper center, and a golden fringe — is visible in Lady Une's office in episode 2.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 May 2005


The Marimeia Army

[Marimeia Army]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 May 2005

One year after the end of the war some diehard ex-OZ loyalists try to stage a putsch and install the late Treize Khushrenada's illegitimate daughter Marimeia as their figurehead ruler of the ESUN. The Marimeia Army's flag can be seen in the opening minutes of episode 3 while she delivers the titular "History is like an endless waltz: the three measures of war, peace and revolution continue on forever" speech. It's rather flashy: a dark blue eagle over a maroon 'M' over a dark-blue flourish, all on a magenta field. I suppose armed coups have little need of subtlety.
Eugene Ipavec, 2 May 2005