Imperial Sunburst

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Imperial-Sunburst-Imp-Family-Traveller 02-June-2019a.jpg

The Imperial Sunburst is the symbol of the Third Imperium established by Cleon I, the first Emperor, when the empire was proclaimed.

  • Images show him standing before the original banner with a golden yellow twenty-one rayed sunburst against a black background, representing Capital’s type G star against dark space.


Description (Specifications)[edit]

The Imperial Sunburst emblem is defined precisely by its shape, including the depiction of the twenty-one rays emanating from the sunburst. It is not defined by its color. The original banner in the Imperial throne room is and has always been black with a yellow sunburst. The Imperial Interstellar Scout Service uses a red sunburst; the Imperial Navy, yellow; the Imperial Army, black; the Imperial Marines, maroon.

Selected Imperial Sunburst Colors[edit]

Imperial Sunburst Symbol Usage
User Color Emblem Remarks
Imperial Royal Family Black w/Yellow Sunburst
Imperial-Sunburst-Imp-Family-Traveller 02-June-2019a.jpg
This emblem is used by the Emperor and his or her immediate family including selected servants and retainers. This symbol is often backed by the Imperial Warrant.

The banner of the Imperial Royal Family a Black sphere surrounded by a Yellow Sunburst on an Orange field is the least seen of all the Imperial banners being reserved only for use in the presence of the Emperor and his or her immediate family or selected servants and retainers. May include different charges such as the Black fess on the crown prince/princess’ banner. [1]

Imperial Bureaucracy
(Default color when not otherwise specified)
Blue
Wiki Navy.png
The many institutions of the bureaucracy serve a civilian function within the government of the Third Imperium. A few serve paramilitary functions. The bureaucracy is vast and varied, taking all manners of tasks and authority in the loose and flexible system of feudal confederation.

The Imperial Bureaucracy typically has a banner with a Blue Sunburst on a White background. But it should be noted that several institutions have their own variations. For example the Bureau of Tithe have a Blue Sunburst on a Green field, no one quite knows why. [2]

Imperial Navy Yellow
Imperial-Sunburst-Sun-Navy-Traveller.jpg
This institution serves a military function as an Interstellar Navy within the government of the Third Imperium. The Navy is extensively backed up by subsector and noble forces under the system of feudal confederation.

The Imperial Navy’s Yellow Sunburst usually displayed on the top, bottom, port, starboard sides of Imperial Naval ships, usually applied to the bare hull without contrast. (Exception: One admiral who became enamored by an ancient 2d video entertainment program had all of the ships in his command painted white. Since the Sunburst was lost in the background, the ships outlined the Sunburst in Black). The Sunburst may be subdued for interface spacecraft. The Imperial Navy’s banner is a Yellow Sunburst on a Black field. [3]

Imperial Star Marines Maroon
Imperial Sunburst Marines Small.png
This institution serves a military function as a flexible all-environment strike force for the government of the Third Imperium. It is the elite tip of the spear, but lacks the numbers and staying power of the Imperial Army.

Imperial Star Marines banner is a Maroon Sunburst on a Gold field. Banners carried into battle may have the units identity emblazoned in Black symbology. Some Marine vehicles may have an outline of the Sunburst in Maroon or Black so not to disrupt the vehicle's camouflage pattern. (Note: certain agitators have told small children that the Marines fill in the Sunburst with the blood of slain sophonts. Marine command vigorously denies this) [4]

Imperial Army Black
Imperial-Sunburst-Sun-Army-Traveller.jpg
This institution serves a military function as an Army or planetary forces within the government of the Third Imperium. The army is extensively backed up by subsector and noble forces under the system of feudal confederation.

Imperial Army Black Sunburst on a Red field serves as their banner. [5] In instances where a field is necessary on which to display the Black Sunburst when a bright red field would be inappropriate or undesirable, dark green-olive or dark khaki-brown is often employed. [6] [7] Most Army vehicles may have an outline of the Sunburst in Black so not to disrupt the vehicle's camouflage pattern. [8]

Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Red
Imperial Sunburst-Sun-IISS-Traveller.gif
This institution serves a paramilitary function within the government of the Third Imperium. It also serves as a communications branch, scouting service, intelligence agency, and reserve military function among other duties.

Imperial Interstellar Scout Service, when they bother, display a banner with a Red Sunburst on a White field. [9]

Imperial Science Societies Grey
Imperiumgrey-2.jpg
These institutions serve scientific functions associated with the government of the Third Imperium. The educational institutions often fall under this aegis.

Imperial Science Societies fly a Grey Sunburst on a Green field. Unless they are protesting some Imperial Bureaucracy policy. [10]

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

In 247, the Eliyoh (...a nonhuman minor race) joined the Imperium. To that race the symbology was unimpressive. The Eliyoh vision centered in the far infrared, which resulted in distinction between the official colors of black and yellow being impossible. So the Empress Porfiria declared that henceforth the symbol would have no official color.

Military Emblems & Imperial Sunburst[edit]

Many but not all Imperial military units have unit emblems or pennons that feature the sunburst. The Imperial Navy uses a yellow sunburst as a roundel, but uses a stylized dagger with laurels as a branch symbol.
T5-Imperial-Navy-detail-FFE 03-June-2019a.png

See also[edit]

Third Imperium[edit]

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
  1. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff
  2. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff
  3. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff
  4. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff
  5. Douglas E. Berry. Ground Forces (Steve Jackson Games, 2000), 12 (sidebar).
  6. An unpublished factoid written by WHULorigan
  7. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff
  8. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff
  9. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff
  10. An unpublished factoid written by Chuck Pfaff