52 States in 8 Months

Quite a number of distinct gods

Posted in Inauguration trip by Ulf on March 15, 2009

Somewhere in Arlington Cemetery we found some tombs of cremated soldiers. When we walked past, we realized how many different religions could be found at this place!


So, let’s try to identify them. From left to right, top to bottom, just as you would read it:

  1. A flaming chalice. Maybe they were Unitarians or UUs.
  2. The contour of a Latin Cross. Why just the contour?
  3. Either a Presbyterian Cross or a Celtic Cross.
  4. The contour of a Latin Cross with a circle around it. What’s the meaning of a circle?
  5. He was a Methodist.
  6. Probably a non-believing couple.
  7. This is “The Three-Bar Orthodox Cross”.
  8. A filled Latin Cross, not just the contour
  9. The “Star of David”, so he was Jewish. But what does the circle mean?
  10. This might be a “Sacred heart of Jesus”.
  11. A Greek Cross which the Eastern Orthodox Church uses. Maybe, maybe not.
  12. That guy is called “Gabriel”. He blows a horn towards heaven.
  13. This is an eternal flame.
  14. For the cross, look at picture 3. But for the Star of David… well, this one doesn’t have a circle (number 9 had one).
  15. The Cross and Crown.
  16. Fake entry to fill the 4-by-4 grid. My apologies to Paul and Ramona, who are in fact Christians.

I gave up about the others. Does anyone have clue?

EDIT: Mascha has already solved much of the puzzle. Thank you very much! Still, there are a few open questions, so if you know something, let us know!


14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Mascha said, on March 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    My darling Ulf,
    Firstly, I am now opening admitting that I read your blog; it’s way more interesting than Bernies.

    Secondly, this blog post made me so excited! I was in a class called “Mortuary Archaeology” a few semester ago, and for my term paper I did a tomb stone analysis of the stylistic changes over the decade. Pretty much I went to a local grave yard and tracked how the tombstone styles changed over the decades and then did a comparative study with local historical events. In doing this, I did notice a lot of symbolism on the tombstones; however I did not conduct any research on it…but none the less, I will try and fill in your blanks :)

    2. The Latin Cross…Ulf really, you should know this one! This is the most common symbol in Christianity and was previously called “God’s Mark”

    4. I found so many different interpretations for this one it isn’t even funny; and now I’m too tired to type them all out ;). It’s probably just an alternative way of representing the Latin Cross

    10. Sacred heart of Jesus (I think): Predominantly used in Roman Catholicism, the Sacred Heart is used to symbolize the divine love for humanity.

    12. Gabriel: agent of God, usually pointing towards heaven. He is the guardian of the dead and also represents spirituality. This symbol can be hard one to identify because Gabriel is depicted in many ways; however, he is almost always depicted blowing a horn

    13. The eternal Flame: Representing eternal life

    15. The Cross and Crown: Christian symbol representing the rewards in heaven after the trials and tribulations of life on earth, but can also represent sovereignty to God. “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee the Crown of Life.” ( Rev. 2:10) It is also associated with the Knights Templar as well as Church of Christ, Scientist

    I hopes this helps!
    Ps. the storage facilities for cremated remains are called columbarium niches

  2. Ulf said, on March 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Hi Mascha!
    Wow! Thank you! I didn’t expect anyone to solve this much of the puzzle so quickly :-). I’ll copy it to the main post immediately..

    I tried to translate those “columbarium niches”, and it turned out that the German name for a columbarium is … “Kolumbarium”. Reminds me a bid of Colombia, but I didn’t know that they call these storages boxes like this. You’ve just taught me a German word! :-D.

    Best wishes, Ulf

    PS: I knew you were reading my blog. WordPress gives me statistics of the Referrer-HTTP-Fields of my visitors. The number of clicks I get from Paul’s blog is well above average, so it was easy to conclude that it was you ;-).

  3. Mascha said, on March 16, 2009 at 12:02 am

    teeheee, and I thought I was being sneaky! Now I’m blushing and Mister, that’s hard to do to a brown girl!

    I’m glad I can help! Seeeee being an anthropologist is filled of adventure and excitement. It’s sad that I actually got excited doing this, isn’t it :(

  4. Mascha said, on March 16, 2009 at 12:03 am

    ps. Gabriel is an agent of God…aka angel

  5. Martin said, on March 16, 2009 at 1:17 am

    The Referrer is one reason not to restart firefox and to leave the Tabs open. And it’s also a good reason for this plugin: http://www.stardrifter.org/refcontrol/ 0:)

    And Mascha, on a blog where probably a lot of germans read you shouldn’t state that you are “brown”. There is a chance that this will lead to some confusion ;)

  6. Mascha said, on March 16, 2009 at 1:57 am

    I will keep Ulf-stein’s page open and just continuously refresh the page from now on. I like being sneaky!

    Aber Martin, ich verstehe nicht die konfusion . Ich bin die Farbe auf Milchschokolade, deshalb ich bin braune, nein?

  7. Mascha said, on March 16, 2009 at 2:02 am

    I think I made a mistake with my German…

    …ich verstehe die konfusion nicht…? ja? nein? jein?

  8. Martin said, on March 16, 2009 at 4:26 am

    Since the english wikipedia doesn’t realy state it like this here is the german one:
    The second paragraph wich referrs do nowdays is the important one. If you don’t understand from this which smal political incorrect statement you gave Paul hopefully will be happily explaing this to you ;). But don’t worrie to much, I just thought it was funny ;)

  9. Ulf said, on March 16, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Hey, you both are stealing the content of a blog-post which is scheduled to appear on the 19th (Yes, I’m already preparing blog posts for our vacation…)!!! ;-)
    It will mention brown people, but I’ll use that color for refering to Indians aswell as to Hispanics. Well, Mascha, you probably fall into the Indian category :-).

    I like the euphemism “Milchschokolade” to refer to the color brown.
    Milchschokolade was very popular in Germany around 1933-1945.
    And in fact, in some parts of Germany it still is. Especially in Halle-Silberhöhe and Magdeburg-Olvenstedt ;-). And in Passau! In Passau there are people that like Milchschokolade that much, they even try to kill sheriffs who eat Milchschokolade themselves.

  10. Mascha said, on March 16, 2009 at 10:15 am

    mmmm I love Milchschokalade! But now I will never go to Passau because I do not want to get shot! If they are willing to kill the sheriff what will they be willing to do to a poor foreign girl?

    And since I correct Paul’s English I think it’s only fair that I correct yours too :). My comparison between milk chocolate and my skin color is not a euphemism! Euphemisms are used when trying to make something which is not so pleasant, sound a little gentler; as in someone “passing away” rather than bluntly saying “someone died”. Whereas metaphors are comparisons of two things without using the words “like” or “as” =)

    And Ulf, I’m not Indian! :( I am Sri Lankan! A lot of people group us together since the proximity of India and SL are so close. But that would be like grouping Native Americans and Central Americans together because they have the same skin tone! teeheee, very few people can actually guess my cultural heritage since I am actually a giant mutt (my mother was born in SL, as were her parents, but they are actually of Scottish, British, Dutch and Portuguese decent!)

  11. Ulf said, on March 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    About the word “euphemism”: Well… Martin and I were talking about Nazis and Neo-Nazis. The people who support(ed) the Hitler dictatorship in Germany. Brown was their identification color. If you talk about “brown people” in Germany, people will understand that you talk about those Nazis and not about Hispanics or Indians or Sri Lankans or mixtures of Scottish, British, Dutch and Portuguese :-). Sorry, Mascha, you won’t be considered as brown in Germany unless you run around with a Swastika (which you should better not do).

    So, when I said “Milchschokolade”, I actually meant those hooligans. “Milk chocolate” sounds so much nicer than “dictator”, “xenophobia” or “total war”. That’s why I called it an euphemism.
    In our English classes in 11th grade, our teacher tried to explain the difference between a simile and a metaphor (and maybe even an euphemism, but I didn’t listen at that that time). Well… I hated these things. For an engineer it’s all just “some language stuff” anyway. I didn’t really care. Maybe I should have listened to what he said…

  12. Mascha B. said, on March 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I never knew any of this; thank god you two told me all of this becuase I always say “im brown” and probably would have said it in Germanland! Ulf, Martin, you boys are now my heros becuase you may have just saved my life!

    Its so sad that Milkcholocate has such a horrible connotative meaning! Such an amazing thing chocolate is. My heart is sad. Oh and Ulf, did you know that the Swastika is also a symbol used in Buddhism? Obviously the symbol isn’t as widely used anymore becuase of the association with the Nazi regime, but none the less! So, becuase Buddhism is practiced in Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population) and because my dad is Buddhist (I am not religious but idenitfy greatly with the Buddhism), it actually shouldn’t be surprising if I wore the Swastika! But I don’t, becuase I’m not stupid and because I don’t want to get curb-stomped =)

    Check it out: http://www.buddhisttemple.ca/buddhism/buddhismfaq.php#8
    (it’s about half way down the page)

  13. Ulf said, on March 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Oh, it’s not only the Buddhists who use the Swastika. When I visited the “National Museum of the American Indian” in late December 08, I was pretty surprised when I also saw it there:

    Seems like the Nazis have stolen and tainted the symbol from many different communities around the planet. Another entry in the list of evil Nazi crimes…

  14. Mascha B. said, on March 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm


    ps. I’ve very jealous that you went to the NMAI. booo-urns!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: