I have heard various interpretations of the iconography of the Nishan Sahib. My interpretation: The 2 talwars (curved swords) represent Miri and Piri, temporal and spiritual authorities of the Khalsa panth respectively. The khanda (straight sword) in the center represents the One, referred to as Sri Bhagauti (the great sword) in our daily ardas. The circular chakra around the straight sword signifies that the One is akaal (timeless). It is without beginning or end. The current symbol on Nishan Sahib, referred to as "Khanda", evolved over time. An earlier depiction shows a symbol of a shield and sword http://www.sikhmuseum.com/nishan/khalsa/index.html#khalsaera9 A similar shield and sword is seen in this writing of the mool mantar. It is kept at Takht Harimandir Sahib in Patna. The shield and sword appear above the Ekankar and Oankar respectively, perhaps as a means to signify two different aspects of the Divine. http://www.sikhmuseum.com/nishan/khalsa/index.html#khalsaera8 What is your interpretation of the current Nishan Sahib symbol, and the various Nishan Sahibs of the past (particularly of the shield and sword depicted in the image)? Our Ardas invokes the path of Sri Bhagauti, as brought by Guru Nanak. How does the imagery of a sword relate with Hukam and the negation of Haumai? Are there any clues in gurbani that hint toward the path of the sword being a mindset? I would love to hear from the Sangat.