The Commonwealth of Humanity
After the conclusion of the Third Terran World War, the United Nations established a Global Charter for collective security. In the period of economic growth and stability ushered in by the post-war global community, and out of a desire to ensure the human civilization might survive the follies of nations, an era of space exploration and colonization began.
Toward the end of the Twenty-first Century, the slowship Voyager made the 70 year journey between Earth and a planet in the Proxima Centauri system. The New Damascus colony became the first extra-solar human presence in the galaxy.
Fifty years later, Dr. Rebecca Sheridan invented the hyperdrive, allowing for superluminal travel between stars. In the decades that followed, New Paris (Alpha Centauri IV), As-Salaam (40 Eridani II), Terra Nova (Wolf 359 III), and New Brazil (Sirius II) were all colonized.
On January 1, 2345 by the United Nations of Earth, the Colonial League of New Damascus, the New Parisian Federation, the Governing Council of As-Salaam, the Terra Nova Congress, and the All World Congress of New Brazil, signed the Great Charter, establishing the Commonwealth of Humanity.
A decade after the Charter was enacted, advances in hyperdrive technology led to even faster ships and a second great expansion. After only four centuries, over 100 worlds had been colonized and added to the Commonwealth’s number, with the population of the Commonwealth numbering over 100 billion people.
The Commonwealth occupies a rough sphere with a radius of 92 parsecs, centered generally on the Sol system. This is a function of the more-or-less even expansion in all directions from the core worlds during the Second Expansion. The boundaries of the Commonwealth have not increased appreciably since 3012.
For all the advances in hyperspace technology, communications were still limited to light speed transmissions. Information from one star system to another needed to be physically sent via hyperspace drone. Upon arrival in the other system, the drone would transmit its data via laser link and receive data from relay buoys that could then be brought back to its system of origin on the return trip.
This process was costly and because of the challenges of hyperspatial navigation, drones did not make more than one jump, restricting their communications to neighboring star systems. As a result, information propagated slowly from world to world. It could take days for information from the periphery of the Commonwealth to reach the central worlds. This limitation would prove to be a challenge to the Commonwealth as it expanded.
The Commonwealth is governed by Parliament that convenes in the city of Jerusalem on Earth. The Parliament is divided into two houses: the Assembly—consisting of delegates based on planetary populations, and a Senate consisting of one representative for each world. The members of the Assembly are elected directly by the people of each planet and the Senators are selected by various methods by the governments of each world. Members of the Assembly serve for two year terms; members of the Senate for five.
The Parliament elects a Consular Committee that serves as the Executive for the Commonwealth. The Consuls perform executive duties over defense, security, commerce, justice, and social welfare. The Consuls of the Committee take turns as Prime Consul, the nominal head of state and official spokesperson for the Consular Committee. Consuls serve a term of three years.
Symbols and Insignia
The seal of the Commonwealth of Humanity is a representation of the Sun, Earth, and Moon and the five stars of the founding worlds of the Commonwealth (Proxima and Alpha Centauri, 40 Eridani, Wolf 359, and Sirius), surrounded by a stylized pair of olive branches. Spiraling out from Earth is a red arrow signifying the human journey to the stars and the expansion of the human race into the galaxy.
The flag of the Commonwealth uses the Commonwealth seal in the upper left corner of a tricolor banner. The green represents the land of the individual world upon which human communities depend for life. The white band represents the planetary cloud later. And the midnight blue band represents the nighttime sky in which the stars of the Commonwealth can be seen as reassurance and constant presence. Older versions of the flag had individual stars to the right of the seal representing the individual member worlds. When the number of stars grew too numerous, the design was altered to remove them altogether and allow the seal itself to represent the stars of the sky.