The Flame motif of the Regency, much bandied about as it is, represents timeless values that it aspired to enshrine as the core principles of its civilization. When Norris Aledon spoke of them from the early years of its founding, he hoped to instill these values in the hearts and minds of his countrymen not merely to tide them over in the face of the long journey of adversity that they had to face, but because he had the conviction that these principles were the foundation of any morally acceptable future Imperium. This remains to be seen. It is often noted by moral philosophers that attainment of any ethical or moral path is a study in relatives and averages for the vast majority of persons in the community and society that sets out to accomplish them. But all that matters is that the society keeps the faith in the best of its traditions, keeps a clear and open mind about change and challenges, and for the MOST part keeps true to its aspirations. While this is not the prettiest of paths for the moral theorist, it is the best that can be pragmatically hoped for given the fickle tides of human nature. Norris for his part was something of a pessimist regarding human nature, despite his flowery rhetoric. But that kept him on message, and he hammered away at the Flame idea for the remainder of his life.
For the most part, the values of the Flame are conservative in nature, in that they focus the individual upon the community and shared sacrifice, and are centered towards ideas of duty and continuity and service to the greater whole. A great deal of this was contingent upon the times that Norris had lived through. The Regency of Deneb's very existence was a historical accident, instigated by the wars of men and women who had spurned their responsibilities, and had cast an empire and most of their people into the bonfire of egocentric vanity. Hunkering through a murderous gauntlet of monstrosities, each and every one of them an adherent of the "I am the state" philosophy, had hardened Norris's convictions that a stressing of collective values were the only way to guide the Regency through these terrible times. Each of the four main values of the Flame had its origin in both the traditions of Imperial noblesse oblige, and the absence of the same during the Civil War. This is not to say that these were the only values of the Flame, or even the most important for every time or place. But the best of other values, it seems, are those that aren't so much in opposition to the ones that Norris chose, but complement them, and have appropriate occasions for their exercise. And he chose to keep some parts of the Flame vague, just for that reason.
The four values, as originally composed by the hand of Norris are:
"Courage: The ability to stand alone in the face of adversity and to hold fast to transcendent values even when surrounded by those who would tear them down.
"Stewardship: An appreciation of the physical assets, intellectual assets, social assets and spiritual assets that have been saved and nurtured by the Regency, and a sober awareness of their fragility. Stewardship is manifested by the willingness to protect these assets, the understanding that these assets belong not to the Regency, but to the Universe at large, and the commitment to someday assist in the dissemination of these assets back into the universe which has a need for them.
"Selfless Service: Another aspect of courage and stewardship is the belief that individuals achieve their greatest value when they combine their efforts with others to create something larger than they are, which will live long after they as individuals have disappeared. No person, nation, or world is an island; all of the Spinward States would have died had they not all cooperated with and trusted each other.
"Inclusiveness: Although no society is free of prejudice and expressions of groupism, the Imperium contained very few racial barriers to the achievement of its nonhuman members. The preponderance of human culture and leadership was a by-product of the tremendous numerical advantage of Imperial Humans. Even the much-celebrated competition between humans of Vilani and Solomani descent was observed more in the breach than in practice. For the last 500 years, the bloodlines of Imperial leadership were so completely mixed between Vilani, Solomani and Sylean heritage that racial distinctions were nonsensical.
"The Regency is heir to this tradition. In addition to its well-known Aslan and Vargr inhabitants, the Regency contains small communities of Droyne, Chirpers, Hivers and even K'kree, plus numerous minor and geneered human races. All these are fully able to participate in government and to serve in governmental agencies. However, it is clear that the Imperium was, and the Regency remains, a predominantly human institution. On a simply descriptive level that simply means that the greatest percentage of Imperial subjects were human, and not unreasonably created institutions based on human traditions and assumptions.
"On and idealistic level, the concept of the Imperium and Regency (and Commonwealth) being human means that they incorporate human or humane values, the most important of which are resect for the individual and his, her, or its right to a meaningful and fulfilling existence."