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I've been watching DS9 a lot lately and I've noticed that the Bajorans use the Emblem of the Bajoran People extremely regularly. Aside from being a common design for jewelry and insignia, they're used in architectural ornamentation, window design, and so forth. I joked that they used it like medieval inhabitants of andalusian Spain.

Memory Alpha didn't provide me with more than that name, but it's used often enough and is distinctive enough that I'm curious if it has a deeper meaning.

Golden emblem roughly the shape of an elongated egg with a similar shape cut out of it, centered horizontally but situated towards the bottom of the outer oval. A vertical pillar bridges the hole and extends slightly past the top of the egg shape. Vertically aligned with the bottom of the egg shape is a circular design with a spiral design reminiscent of the chambered nautilus shell or turbine blades.

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    (Out of universe) I'd suspect it's unimaginativeness of the writers. Or to put differently, to rub "Bajoran culture right here" in your nose. – bitmask Sep 30 '13 at 20:50
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I think it's safe to say it's in some way symbolic of the relationship the Bajorans has with the Celestial Temple(wormhole).

The circle at the bottom can represent a few things. One of the Tears of the Prophets, The worm-hole itself, or Bajor the planet (uniquely defined by the religion centered around the two previous things).

The line emanating from it can be considered knowledge provide by the prophets. Either emanating from the wormhole, or descending down from the heavens(the oval shapes) onto the planet.

The symbol of the cult of the pah-wraiths is very similar
Cult of the Pah-Wraiths

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I've always thought of it more as the logo of the planet and the militia. Klingons, Romulans, even the Dominion have official emblems. There doesn't seem to be any religious or philosophical meaning to the symbol, other than to represent it's people.

The Bajoran combadge resembles the symbol:

enter image description here

Here's a few other symbols:

Federation:
enter image description here

Klingon:
enter image description here

Dominion:
enter image description here

None of these have any other particular meaning other than to represent the people.

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    Bajoran religion is intertwined with all other aspects of their culture, so it might have more meaning, but yeah, I think just this is the primary reason. – Izkata Sep 30 '13 at 23:06
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    The Federation logo definitely does have meaning. It's basically an evolution of the U.N. logo, which contains a map of the world centered around the North Pole, representing global unity, with an olive branch wreath representing peace. The UFP version has what looks like the Milky Way in the center, with the three stars possibly being the Summer Triangle. – Lèse majesté Oct 1 '13 at 1:18
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    Small aside, the Klingon emblem is older than the Klingon empire (DS9 4x09, The Sword of Kahless). It may actually be the emblem for the House of Kahless, which the Empire then inherited when he founded it. – Izkata Jan 4 '14 at 4:52
  • @Lèsemajesté: Rather than the Summer Triangle, it might be more reasonable to assume the three stars represent actual stars in the Federation, maybe suns of founding members. – O. R. Mapper Jul 5 '15 at 13:52
  • "There doesn't seem to be any religious or philosophical meaning to the symbol" - if there really is no religious meaning to the symbol, it seems very odd to me that it would be on display in prominent locations in Bajoran temples. In several different temples. It's like a national flag replacing the cross in a church. – O. R. Mapper Jul 5 '15 at 13:55
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The earliest references I could find to the 'Bajoran Emblem' are on concept sketches created by Rick Sternbach and dated to July 1992, some three years before the show was aired.

enter image description here

As you can see from the first sketch, the original emblem was simply a formless oval shape containing a circle described as "Ellipsoid Bajoran Symbol"

The same oval is seen in the "The Art of Star Trek"; Bajoran Phaser - Prototype

You can also see the symbol on these early sketches of Bajoran 'Impulse Ships'. Here it looks more like an inverted trident;

enter image description here

As to the "meaning" behind it, I agree with the posters above. It just seems to be vaguely Buddhist symbology combined with a stylised circle at the bottom depicting the Celestial Temple (e.g. the Bajor Wormhole) pierced by the "Sword of Stars"

enter image description here

  • Fantastic find. Interesting to see the evolution of the design. – nograde Jan 13 '14 at 17:35
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I don't think there's any deep meaning to the Bajoran emblem, but Bajorans are basically portrayed as space Buddhists (at least superficially). Their religious attire is very similar to that of Tibetan monks, and this Bajoran religious symbol/wall art shown in DS9 is very reminiscent of a Mandala:

Partial screen cap of Bajoran religious symbol on a wall. It is a golden mostly radially symmetric circular geometric design. The left edge appears to be deliberately faded, and there is also a non-symmetric element extending down from the center of of the circle.

(Incidentally, that design was made by repeating a diagram image of the SS Botany Bay in a circular ring.)

The government emblem was probably also created to fit the pseudo-Buddhist aesthetic they were shooting for.

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