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The Path of Daggers (book)

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
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[cover of path of daggers

About a week ago, a friend of mine directed me to a book cover at that features two flags. The book is a heroic fantasy by Robert Jordan.

The cover, which I'm posting reduced, separately, features two flag-like objects. One is red with a yin-yang symbol and the other is white with a chinese-looking dragon, predominantly red. On the background, several other similar "flags" are seen, but the details are not visible.

Each "flag" is attached to a spear by means of a transversal "branch" at the top and through ropes at the bottom, as if it was a sail.

And I'm wandering: anyone knows of real flags that are to be "flown" like this? And also, for any eventual reader of this book: do these flags at the cover correspond to something in the story?
Jorge Candeias, 8 may 2000

While I have not yet read these books, my son has. The flags are mentioned in the books and described as the symbols of the different groups involved in the stories. After seeing the cover in question, I wanted to GIF the flags and did a little research. The dragon symbol is used in the books as a decoration on chapter pages. A good rendition of the dragon appears here as well as another cover with a flag, this one blue with an eagle in flight on it.
Michael P. Smuda, 8 may 2000

the Black Tower of the Ashaman

The red flag with the black yin-yang symbol, I believe represents the Black Tower of the Ashaman. This is an organization of men who can "channel", doing magic using energy that springs from a central "Source". There are two halves to the Source, a male half and a female half, the names of which escape me, but the black half of the yin-yang is the Dragon's Fang, representative of males who can channel, and the white half is the Flame of Tar Valon, representative of the female half. Might I also note that the bannerman on the cover is flying the flag upside down! Unless I am greatly mistaken, the point of the black half is supposed to be down, and that of the white half up, so that the black half is a fang and the white half a flame.
Mark Allen, 12 march 2004

The ying-yang flag is symbolic of both male and female sources of the One Power. In the book only females known as Aes Sedai practice the one power openly in areas where they are accepted. Males who show signs of possessing use of the One Power are captuted and 'stilled' so they will not be able to use it. In other areas people are afraid of those using the One Power and will find various enemies in opposition to it. The female Aes Sedai use the white teadrop only as their symbol.
Anthony L..., 22 july 2004

Rand al'Thor

The dragon banner is precisely that: The Dragon Banner. It is the emblem of Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn. He is, of course, the striking chap on the black horse carrying the sword in the cover image on your website, not to mention the main character of the books. Finally, I can identify the other flag mentioned - The blue field with the eagle in flight. That flag belongs to Manetheren, a once-powerful empire of the fictional world in which these books take place. The banner has recently been taken up by the Band of the Red Hand, along with their own ensign, which I cannot recall at this time.
Mark Allen, 12 march 2004

The dragon flag is symbolic of the Dragon Reborn, a person of prophecy who is to fight Shaitan and his forces in the last battle. He is a male who can use the One Power. In the ancient history of the book there were both male and female Aes Sedai but when the last Dragon defeated Shaitan, it made the whole male side of the One Power tainted. Lewis Theron the Dragon then went crazy and killed his family and all close to him, what followed was also the Breaking of the World. The Dragon Reborn is Rand Al'Thor who lives currently in the series.
Anthony L..., 22 july 2004

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