Wednesday, December 16, 2009


While looking through the image archive, I discovered certain files with "bar" attached. It was then I went back and realized most of the pages on the site were bordered with certain designs. It was a nice little touch that may have gone unnoticed, and it was interesting to see where certain regions had a recurring theme. This may have just been something to do for fun, but I think it also hints at the kind of aesthetics these different regions may have. I think the fringes of clothing and jewelry would very much reflect their bars, so it does warrant some looking into, should one seek to do artwork based on White's world.

White had two general borders, a "keybar" and one that was a shrunken down version of the main map. However, the rest seemed to generally reflect the religion of the area. (Which once again, I point to jewelry and the like) One border which would probably only get play for one page is the Jewish one. I actually haven't touched too much on real religion on this site, but I think this means the story of Jews in Medieval America might have been an interesting one from White.

All the pages pertaining to cowboys have a border that includes quilted looking arrow designs. White already knocked out three pages with this culture, with Tribalism being the only unfinished article that this border would likely belong too. However, since the Rizzini flag is in the archives, and there are two herdsmen territories, they may had pages created for them with this particular border. Whatever page the Texas map would go to (Which would probably be one of the aforementioned pages) would likely get it as well.

The most used border is, and probably would continue to be, the "fubar", which has the design of the cross on it. It's seen on the page for the Non-Denominational Church, the USA, and Iowa. We probably would have seen it on the nations that made up the Northeast, the Great Lakes, and a few southern nations. (I'm guessing anywhere between seven and ten nation pages) Quebec may get the border as well. Even though its something of a quirk on the map, it's not mutually unintelligible with the rest of Eastern culture. I would also take a stab that Feudalism would get the cross border, as with a few frontier exceptions, the feudal states tend to practice Non-Denom. It's a little less exclusive with the Knights, but I would bet they get that border as well.

The "loop" bar may have been the second most common "culture" bar. So far we've seen it with all the desert-based pages. The Hydraulic Empire page has this motif. Both California and Deseret are given this design as well, and it's pretty certain their corresponding religions would have been bordered. And there's a good chance the Irrigation page would have would have had this border too. But not certain.

Because looking around, an unused design called the "nmex" bar shows up. which very clearly has a quilted southwestern feel to it. This would pretty certainly go on the page for New MExico and New Age, but it seems strange to split the desert nations up. But I suppose this it's there to make the distinction between the more "anglo" desert people of California and Utah, as opposed to the more Hispanic/native culture we're going to find down south. The irrigation page could go on either page, but the New Mexico motif may get custody of that one, to generally keep up with an at-least three-per-page ratio we're going with here.

On both the Secretarial States and Southern Farmer pages, we have a border which is referred to in the archives as the "snake bar". Pretty much makes sense since it's already associated with two of the other pages that make up the culture of the Gulf, of which Voodoo is the prominent religion. It's certain that would have gone onto the Voodoo page. (Especially since, once again, relgion seems to be a driving force behind the bars) As to what individual countries the snake bar would have bordered, Louisiana is the only sure thing. It's certainly possible it would have gone on the Southern Front or the Deep South page, but we can't be sure. As mentioned in other articles, the transition from northern to southern culture is gradual, and Georgia might not necessarily have much in common culturally with the Gulf.

And then we have the "northwest" bar, found here. As you can see, a pretty clear yin-yang marks the center, but if you put it in bar form, you see both crosses and moon crescents. This may be a coincidence and White was playing with abstract designs, but this may indicate how much Cascadian Buddhism may differ from its counterpart from across the Pacific. Obviously we'd have the Buddhism page with this border, and the District of Columbia page. But I don't know how many we have beyond that. First, I don't know if the Northwest merchants get their own page. But the rest of the icons the Northwest gets have Northeast counterparts. On both the Government and Warfare maps "Republic" and "Pikemem" are both shown on the Northwest corner. And this map shows that, if there isn't a higher population of pikemen and republics in the Northwest, they play a bigger proportional role than they do in the East.

I don't know what the make iof the oklbar. Looking it up, the only references I could find were Oklahoma and a town in Minnesota, both which are kind of politically banished in this age. I suppose going with the relgion theme, it might go with the "heresy" pages, of which there are two. It might have been an orphaned page for "Here be monsters".

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It seems jmberry on the Alternate History Boards discovered a stash of images on White's site that he never got around to using. Needless to say, this cuts down on a bit of my speculation, and some major revisions are in order. In some respects, I was probably not as off on the mark as I would have thought, in others, very. I don't know whether I should go back and revise past posts, or start new ones. In any case, the discoveries have given me a lot to think about.

The borders for the East of America, and the West half. Also, this here gives you a good idea on the various borders around the continent. White pointed out that the forest zones could be a disparate patchwork, but I had no idea how much. It seems most balkanized around the Appalachian and Ozark Highlands, though it's also that way in both the Northeast and Northwest. (No surprise there, as they operate as mercantile city-states. I'm most surprised to see New York and parts of Canada have fragmented so. It has caused me to think a lot about Quebec's expansion. Quebec proper is safely tucked away where it has been. But I would think Canada's being broken up might make it subject to conquest. If cowboys can conquer everything in site, I don't know why Quebecois wouldn't. This map displays the language of the region, and while it doesn't confirm anything about Quebec, I do notice New York seems to have a similar gradient as the Ottawa metro-area, so I wouldn't say the theory is shot down. The New York flag has the statue of liberty, which is an American symbol, but it's also a french statue, so...part of me is tempted to abandon the French New York thing, but I don't have anything to truly shout it down yet.

There's a sub-map for the Pacific Northwest, which is titled "Cascadia". The weird thing is, the file name is "pac-northwest", which is what you get from clicking on cities like Seattle and Portland. But it also has the flag for the District of Columbia inside that so...while it doesn't raise an insane amount of questions, I am left to wonder about the formatting, if not the content. I do wonder what the Columbia page is, though, since it seems to be this country without any major cities in it. Also, more of Medieval Texas is explored. White himself has an image for Texas, although I'm unsure what page it would have appeared on. Perhaps the tribal page? In any case, the most eastern of Texas is fused with some of Louisiana and Arkansas to form "Red River Territory", the most western absorbed by new Mexico, and the bulk of it under a tribe named the Andersons, who have nevertheless kept Houston up and running. Generally makes sense for the competing (Dixie, Latino and Plains) cultures,, although I am curious to know how "Texas" plays into any sense of nationalism for the region.

Perhaps the one thing I was way off the mark on about was the Yankees. I think I'm generally correct about what culture is like in the Northeast, but apparently I was incorrect in interpreting the Yankee symbol as a boat (it's a plow), and extrapolating it to be mostly a maritime culture. This probably remains true for the three Northeast nations, it's just that I'm incorrect in assuming the Northeast is distilled "Yankee" culture. Or maybe not, as the icon isn't any further west than Pennsylvania. I do think Ohio and it's four District HQs does give it something common in the Northeast, but it's still arguable as a "Yankee nation". I'm assuming this map would go to that particular page. Unfortunately, there are no other pictures for that "How they would" dress, no for the "Irrigation" (Desert-Dwellers) page, which is unfortunate. I suppose very little I've said on the subject has proven to be wrong, but I do have doubts.

I've mentioned very little of it on this blog, but White does have a page for the Jackelope, which led me to believe other American folklore monsters had one, and I was correct. There are images for Bigfoot, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, and Roswell aliens. That covers most of the American folklore monsters (I suppose Wendigos and Men in Black could be mentioned as well), although I have myself wondered about what other folklore would exist in Medieval America. Christmas Elves? Tooth Fairies? Movie monsters? I do think White covered the most he could while 1) Remaining exclusive to America, and 2) In the public domain. My next post is actually going to touch on how popular culture would fit into American folklore. Interestingly, there is also a file image for Elvis, connected to the confederate flag. (Though I would think him attached to a Tennessee flag) I was also thinking about Elvis before I saw that--he's both a entertainment legend and an urban legend, as he's often mentioned in the same publications as Bigfoot and UFOs, so he probably has some folklore status as well.

The only figure I did find from White is a Knight, probably for the Lancers page. I...kind of doubt we'd see pastels like that, but I think I see what he's going for here. The armor reminds me a little bit of the Asian grid designs , which combined with some elements we see in European armor, is something pretty unique. Actually, it reminds me of the look the villains from the film version Prince Caspian. I don't know what nation this is from in particular, (Though I imagine it'd be one from the feudal core) and if the knights look different in the desert, in Quebec, if one some of them have more native American motifs, but I have actually been doing some sketches. In any case, it's nice to have a taste of something that obviously plays a big part in the continent.

In general though, this will lead me to go back and clarify questions, and revamp some ideas. At first I was on the mission of suggesting, not telling. Then I got it in my head to just tell, now I may go back and suggest. I suppose I've done as much as I can without actually doing to nations per se. What I'm thinking of doing is creating a wiki for all this. I was hesitant because White hates Wikipedia, and it would feel a little disrespectful, but I think I may have taken this as far as it can go in blog form (at least until I do illustrations), and it's obvious I will have to retouch things over time.