Last modified: 2018-09-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: saint herman |
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The Cross of Saint Herman (of Alaska) was modelled on the various saints
flags found in Europe and elsewhere, inspired by the design of the St. George
Cross flag of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem.
The Alaskan missionary monk and hermit Saint Herman of Alaska (reposed 1750) became the first glorified saint of the Orthodox Church in North America in 1970. Years later, it was reckoned that a flag for this western saint should be designed based on similar banners (such as the ancient white saltire cross of Saint Andrew, and the flags of Saints George, Patrick and David of Wales).
The saint is entombed at the Sts. Sergius and Herman of Valaam Chapel in Alaska (photo attached - see Wikipedia entry below).
Research for the flag was begun in the early 2000s.
The flag of Saint Herman bears a black cross, recalling the heavy iron cross the Alaskan hermit wore chained under his clothing (a holy relic which is still preserved today in the Alaskan church that houses his relics). The black cross is emblazoned on a white field, to commemorate the snow-covered land of Alaska, in whose soil Saint Herman firmly planted the Holy Cross, as we hear in the Troparion hymn used on the feast day of the saint. The flag resembles the Kroaz Du flag of Brittany, used during the Middle Ages up until the Hundred Years' War, although in proper rendering the black cross on the present flag is about twenty percent heavier than its earlier cousin.
After years of design work and vetting, the flag was formally presented to Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America at the 2017 Canadian Archdiocesan Assembly, by vexillologist and designer Archpriest Geoffrey Korz, where attendees received their own smaller versions of the flag to take home with them. Despite the origins of St. Herman in Alaska, the flag bearing his name has been more widely used in Canada and the northeastern states of America.
Archpriest Geoffrey Korz, 6 August 2018