We welcome to the Rainshadow crew a new writer, Tayloe Washburn. Tayloe has been writing this successful series he calls “On The Mast” which features flags and their stories.

The Crescent Moon & Star is one of our world’s most ancient symbols, combining powerful icons joining man and woman.  The Star represents the female principle and celebrates the cosmic powers of the love Goddesses Venus and Ishtar.  The Moon symbol represents early man’s worship of the skies and is said to honor the Male Moon God Sin of ancient Sumeria (Sin | Mesopotamian god | Britannica) , a wise and unfathomable god.  https://www.fromwartopeace.com/collections/crescent-moon-star

Since then it has been used in various historical contexts, including as a symbol of the Ottoman Empire, and in recent years as a national symbol for some countries and well as a recognized symbol of Islam.  It has existed, in one form or another, for well over 2000 years.  Unlike the cross, which is a symbol of Jesus’ crucifixion in Christianity, there is no solid link that connects the star and crescent symbol with the concept of Islam. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_and_crescent

Ancient civilizations throughout the Middle East used a crescent moon as a religious symbol, and the ancient city of Byzantium was dedicated to the moon goddess, Diana.  A star emblematic of the Virgin Mary was added to Diana’s crescent symbol when Emperor Constantine I made Christianity the official faith of the Roman Empire and renamed the city Constantinople in his own honor.  The crescent and star became associated with Islam when the Muslin Turkic people of Central Asia captured the Anatolian peninsula and added the crescent and star to their own plain red flag, giving us the present-day flag of Turkey. https://www.britannica.com/topic/flag-of-Turkey

The Mast celebrates one of humanity’s oldest symbols in the windmills of the ancient humans’ minds, the Crescent & Star.

Atop the Mast:  the flag of Turkey

On the Yardarm: the flags of Turkmenistan and the Uyghur Protest flag of the East Turkestan independence movement.  This area is currently firmly under the control of China as its Xinjiang province. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Turkestan_independence_movement

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Tayloe is a former history major and history high school teacher. He devoted most of his career to practicing land use law in Seattle, until he left law to start and serve as Dean of the Seattle Graduate Campus in South Lake Union for Northeastern University. He has retired and he and his wife Deborah now live in Port Townsend, where he devotes his time to tennis, Petanque, biking and service on the Fort Worden Foundation Board. As he has a nautical flagpole outside his home, a few times a week he writes a “Mast Memo” on the flags being flown that day, which covers a topic of current or historical interest.


  1. Great article but I beg to differ on one point: the Crescent and Star are connected with Islam because it is the astrological begin of Tamadan. Gsemick@

  2. I beg to differ that there is no connection with Islam: the Crescent and Star depict the beginning of Ramadan , coming up this week.

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