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I originally wanted to ask about the Galactic Empire logo, but then I noticed it looked like basically an inverted logo of the Galactic Republic, its predecessor. The logical question then becomes the origin of THAT logo.

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What is the origin of the above Galactic Republic logo?

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In Legends, it originated from Bendu

From the Wikia

Bendu was a collection of non-confrontational beliefs practiced by the Bendu monks. The symbol of Bendu was a circle connected by eight even spokes, which represented the unification of the galaxy by the Force. Due to their study of numerology, the number eight created by this symbol had great meaning.

Sith Empire

Symbol used by the Sith Empire during the Galactic War

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Bendu (reduced)

Reduced form of the Bendu symbol used on Anakin Skywalker's ship during the Clone Wars

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Palpatine

Palpatine's Bendu inspired Imperial crest

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Even though the symbol of the Bendu was eventually used by the Galactic Republic, they at first used their own symbol [Not given]. Curiously, the later reformed Sith Empire used a six-spoked symbol similar to the one used by the Republic after the Second Sith Civil War. By then, the Republic had adopted the symbol to represent their own role in galactic unification. A six-spoked form of the symbol was also used by the Republic during the Clone Wars immediately before the rise of the Empire. The symbol was later the basis for the emblem of the Galactic Empire. Then at the end of the Galactic Civil War, the New Republic restored the Old Republic's system government, though with editing of forms to reduce the probability of abuses. The Bendu was reinstated but, due to its similarity to the much-hated Imperial Crest, it was not widely adopted as an official symbol and the Alliance Starbird all but supplanted it.

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The name "Bendu" may come from George Lucas's original name for the Jedi Knights: the Jedi Bendu. There are several instances wherein the symbol is used. In Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith during the Battle of Coruscant, Anakin's fighter bears the Clone Wars version of the six-spoke symbol and not the eight-spoke symbol. This can be seen when R2 fights the buzz droid.

Old Republic Logos

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    Cool. If eight was significant, do we know what caused the shift from eight to six?
    – DCShannon
    Sep 20, 2016 at 15:11
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    No idea..but one assumes that the Sith did not have the same beliefs as the Bendu.
    – Paulie_D
    Sep 20, 2016 at 15:13
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    Any idea how this connects to the First Order symbol? What about the Red Hot Chili Peppers' logo? :P
    – Jules
    Sep 20, 2016 at 16:39
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    In case people are curious: 'Bendu' sounds an awful lot like 'Buddha' and a wheel with 8 spokes is a symbol in Buddhism etc: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharmachakra
    – tex
    Sep 20, 2016 at 19:54
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    @Turambar They are not. Just look for the "CANON" or "LEGENDS" banner in the upper right corner of every Wookieepedia article.
    – Null
    Sep 20, 2016 at 21:35

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