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2007-2008 Compilation, part four of four.

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2007-2008 Compilation, part one of four.

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2007-2008 Compilation, part three of four.

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2007-2008 Compilation, part two of four.

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STENCIL skull PORTRAIT 60x80 cm; SP 2012
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e-ways Logo 2
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A technical illustration of a human skull.
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After the Central Powers lost the First World War, Austria-Hungary faced it's final days. The Dual Monarchy was divided along ethnic borders in 1918 and the short-lived Czechoslovakia was born. Both Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire collapsed. All the minorities were demanding independence and at first it seemed like nations such as Belarus and Ukraine were about to get it. However, after the Bolsheviks defeated the White Army in a civil war, Belarus and Ukraine fell under their rule. The Ukrainian speaking areas of former Austria-Hungary were seeking a union with the rest of Ukraine, but after the Communists created the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, the Western Ukrainians ,or Ruthenians as they called themselves, turned their eyes to the West. They joined Czechoslovakia as the federal state of Ruthenia in 1919 and the country's name was changed to Central European Federation.

After the Russian Empire collapsed the Poles declared independence. They saw their chance while the Russians were busy fighting each other and occupied most of Ukraine and Belarus. But after the Reds had had their victory over the Whites, they started fighting the Poles. They eventually pushed them back and occupied the whole of Poland, installing a communist regime in Warsaw to rule the country. Like the Ukrainian speaking parts of former Austria-Hungary, the Polish ones also wanted a union with their homeland. However, after they were sure that Poland would be under Russian control once again, the Poles in Krakow and surrounding lands did the same as the Ukrainians and joined the CEF in 1920.

In 1929 the Polish communists started to question the way the Russians saw their ideology, leading them to turn their backs on the Soviet Union. Poland became an isolated country, being surrounded by western imperialists in the west and south and the heretics of communism in the east.

In the early 1930s a far-right party, called National Socialist German Workers' Party, shortly known as Nazi Party, seized more and more power in Germany. In 1933 their leader Adolf Hitler was declared Chancellor and after President Hindeburg died a year later, Hitler became the dictator of Germany. One of the ideologies on the Nazi Party was to unify all of the German speaking lands with Germany and soon Hitler started to fulfil this. In March 1938 Germany annexed Austria. Having a great German speaking minority, the Central European Federation's leaders started to form alliances with the United Kingdom and France in order to keep their nation independent. However this wasn't enough.

In 1939 Germany started a large-scale military operation against Poland and the CEF. Occupying both countries quickly, they soon attacked France. After their victory in the west, Hitler executed Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union in 1941. Successfully occupying all the land all the way to the Volga River, their victory seemed a certainty. Then, at the Battle of Stalingrad, the Red Army had their victory over the Germans, forcing the Germans to fall back from the Russian heartland. At the same time, the Western Allies had been preparing their comeback. On 6 June 1944, the Allies started the invasion of Normandy. They eventually pushed their way all the way to eastern Europe since the Soviets faced pro-German guerillas in Ukraine, slowing down their progress to central Europe. In 1945 the Second World War was over. Germany had to cede most of their eastern territories to Poland and the CEF. Most of German and Hungarian population of the CEF were transferred to Germany and Hungary in order to avoid the problems that had caused the Second World War. The CEF government ordered new-acquired land to be populated by it's historical inhabitants, Lusatia by Sorbs and Silesia by Silesians.

This wasn't the end of the troubles. Soon after their victory the relations between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union started to disintegrate. The Cold War had begun. The Central European Federation found itself in the western Camp, standing against the horrible Soviet ideology. Their northern neighbour, Poland, was once again under the boot of Moscow and in the east, the Devil Himself, the USSR. This lead to massive propaganda being distributed in the Ukrainian and Polish speaking areas of the CEF. The federal government intentionally supported the local dialects, ultimately causing the population to gain their own identity, different from the Polish and Ukrainian ones.

Today the Central European Federation is technologically advanced modern democracy in the heart of an integrating Europe.

Inspirated by the map by :iconsoaringaven:, who also helped a lot with this, along with :iconienkoron: ^^
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Map [link]

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My entry for Flag Challenge #43: "More British Isles" on AlternateHistory.com

The challenge:
"There are 2 scenarios in this challenge for you to choose from.

Scenario A:
In the North Sea there are one or more large islands in the Dogger Bank area.
Handwaves ensure that Rome still takes Britannia and falls in the west, and that the Germanic migrations occur – this time the North Sea Islands also serve as a waypoint being settled by Angles and the East Norse (Danes) by 1050AD.

Scenario B:
In the Atlantic there are one or more large islands off Cornwall and Brittany beyond the Scilly Isles.
Handwaves ensure that Rome still takes Britannia and falls in the west, and that the Germanic migrations occur – these Celtic Isles also become part of Western Rome and are later settled by Romano-Britons during the time of the Germanic settlement of Britain.

Challenge:
Your task is to create a flag for one of these island states at any point post 1050AD detailing:

a) the name of the state
b) its “feudal” status i.e. vassal, independent, province, etc
c) its “domain” status i.e. lordship, kingdom, bishopric, republic, etc
d) the meanings of any relevant symbols
e) a brief history"

I picked scenario A.

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Symbology:
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It uses a Nordic cross because of periods of Danish dominance in the past. The crosses in the upper left canton represent the five greatest cities of the isles, all of which are/were Hanseatic Free Cities. The central one represents the largest city and capital.

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History: A brief history of the Confederation of Svannerland
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The Confederation of Svannerland[1] was a tightly bound confederation of free cities, banding together out of mutual economic, political and military interests at the dawn of the 17th century. The lack of any true and lasting[2] centralised authority on the islands prior to this had allowed the cities free reign over their own affairs. However, this lack of political unity and a central authority had also resulted in a lack of cultural and linguistic unity in Svannerland. This lack of unity and long history of fierce independence should have rendered any hope of peaceful unification impossible, so how come they managed to unite successfully regardless of these factors?

While a number of island groups in the North Atlantic had been settled by people of different ethnic backgrounds in the past, the central position of the Svannerland islands made them a target for settlement by a far greater range of people than their cousins to the north[3]. While of limited importance prior to the growth of Hanseatic[4] trade, fishing villages had sprung up all over the island, settled by Norse, Low German, Flemish, Frankish, Scottish and English fishermen. Each of these villages retained most of their cultural and linguistic traditions until the rise of the Hansa.

The Hanseatic League is known to have influenced the languages of many of its non-German trading partners considerably. The modern Norwegian language, for instance, can attribute much of it's similarity to German to the heavy Hanseatic presence in Bergen. It should come as no surprise, then, that similar low German influence was present in the cities of the Svannerland islands, most of which had joined the Hanseatic League. Various low German dialects more or less unique to the Svannerland islands developed as a result, and eventually ended up serving as a lingua franca for the various cultural groups on the island. While other languages were spoken orally on a local basis, low German eventually became the administrative language of the Svannerland cities after the formation of the Confederation of Svannerland.

As the Hanseatic League declined, so did the wealth and importance of the cities of Svannerland. Many foreign princes had their eyes on the islands for their strategic value, however, and none of the free cities of Svannerland could stand up against these potential foes alone. Competing against their neighbours for the vaning North Atlantic trade didn't do them much good either, and so the major cities of the island decided that it would be in their best interest to unify against their common foes. This eventually resulted in the formation of the Confederation of Svannerland, made possible by the fear of foreign invasion, economic interests and a common language in the form of Hanseatic low German. They did, however, realize that they could do little to protect themselves even as a united force, and decided to find a foreign prince to protect them. The choice fell on the Charles I of England, on the terms that he would acknowledge and respect their rights as free cities. Charles I accepted, and the Confederation of Svannerland became part of the English crown.

Footnotes:
[1] A bastardisation of the old Norse name for the island chain; "Svanreyland" (Sea-bird Island). It was given this name due to the considerable numbers of sea-birds present on and around the islands.

[2] The Danes had ruled the islands several times in the past. Svannerland grew in importance in the Viking Age, and reached its pre-Hanseatic zenith under King Canute the Great, but never remained under the rule of foreign princes for long.

[3] The Orkeys, Shetland isles etc.

[4] Each major city of the island were once members of the Hanseatic League, a German-dominated economic alliance of free cities.
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The flag of the British Empire, from my Gateways timeline.

Imperial Britain is ruled by King William IX, and is one of the greatest powers of the Gateways universe. Like most parts of the Gateways universe, slavery is still in force in the British Empire, and one of the keys to Britain's Empire is its use of slave labour, especially in it's Martian and Jovian colonies. Britain is also a major producer of high quality micro-electronics, and along with the Confederate States of America is one of the largest producers of Gate modules in the Gateways universe. Britain is also one of a handful of nations which has sponsered the building of extra-solar craft, such as the Albion, which is currently on it's way to Alpha Centauri, and the Avalon, which is heading towards Tau Ceti.

The nation has a checkered history, including numerous brutal repressions of natives and rebels in the Dominions, and the creation of The Blight by rogue Bioethics Ministry agents, which devestated the population of Ireland during The Uprising and which still continues to resurge unexpectedly around the world today.
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