Visitors to our website will note that we use a number of symbols. The most frequently used appears as the cover image to the Männerblog, and a few members in leadership use a variant of the symbol as their avatar. I am of course referring to the titular Bundesmark. The symbol herself had a considerable gestation period. Very early on, the gentleman who got this ball rolling would use me as an occasional sounding board for ideas. (Mind you, in those days the Bund was not yet formed and existed only in his mind, and the beginnings of my suspicions.) The final solution to that conversation was that symbols would develop organically. And they did. So far we have the Bundesmark, and the Pinetreagle, which is our iconic three headed eagle. (I will enforce the Pinetreagle meme by whatever means necessary.) Now, the Bundesmark appeared one day in conversation, and was immediately (and without complaint) accepted among the core community of our ‘Bund. What took time was the final details and version.
There’s a lot in a symbol. (As well there should be) A good symbol operates on multiple wavelengths. The Bundesmark comprises an erect Tīwaz Rūne. Tiwaz is an older name of both Zeus of the Greeks, and Tyr of the Norse. The Rūne symbolises the spear, and the spear was a symbol freely used by the Spartans, the Romans, and the Norse. To the Romans, the spear was symbolic of honour – Roman women would occasionally braid their hair around the spear point as a show of fidelity after being married. The Spartans used the spear as their offensive weapon for mid-range combat in the phalanx, and a chevron (derived from the spearhead) often adorned Greek shields. It was believed among the Norse that prior to combat, Odin would cast his spear over the heads of the doomed, and that the Valkyries would follow. Incidentally, the Romans had a similar custom: They were religiously obligated to cast a spear into the enemy host thirty days prior to battle to announce war, open and honestly (lest they offend the Gods.) This was a Republican custom, contrived sometime after the reign of Numa Pompilius, the Good King, and before the Punic Wars. As a Rune however, Tīwaz symbolised bravery, courage, and hard discipline. All attributes we value, not necessarily as martial traits, but as markers of a good and righteous man.
The Bundesmark is further adorned by two equidistant chevrons. Chevrons, in classical European heraldry, represent the foundation of clans. Certainly within the Männerbund is the seed lain down to rise up clans and tribes. One could also note, the alignment of the chevrons to the Rūne gives the impression of rising. Our goal as a fraternal order is the elevation of everyman. Let it be remembered that the Tīwaz Rune to the Germans was axis mundi, the pole by which heaven was drawn to Earth. It is representative of the Irminsul, the Old Saxon pillars of heaven that were said to hold up the sky.
The foremost interpretation of the Mark is that it represents the growth of family, nation and race. In this way it is reminiscent of a Tree of Life, shared by both the majority of pre-Christian Europeans, and certainly post-Heathen Europeans. And, as the Tree of Life was shared by all White men of good character, and our foundry and heart is in New England, the symbols all together invoke the image of a pine tree. The pine tree has long been a symbol of our early North American heritage, with a large percentile of pre-revolutionary, and post-revolutionary flags bearing a pine tree as either a crest, or a backdrop.
Colours have merit, too. In heraldry, vexillography, as well as religion, colours invoke meaning. The National colour scheme, as it appears on the website, is black and deep red. The Black of the Mark represents determination, struggle, heritage, and victory. The Red of the Mark symbolises courage, revolution, blood, and sacrifice. Though it may be noted that individual Councilmen may elect to personalise their own heraldic colours, which means you may see variations of the Bundesmark within our ranks. I myself prefer the ‘Roman’ colours of bright yellow and bright red. The Interpretatio Romana is one of my guiding principles, but I also recognise that yellow symbolised spirituality, reminiscent of heaven. Some other brothers use blue and white, or green and white. But you’ll have to ask them when you see their heralds what they mean.
Forward and onward, Lads.