NaN was born from Non-Aligned nations standing together in the common cause of not being steam-rolled in important matters. Despite what detractors may say, it served well in establishing region rentals and was enough of an annoyance that we were not simply ignored as we were when facing the super-alliances alone.
The name is a bit of an oxymoron because non-aligned nations standing together is by definition an alliance thus voiding their non-aligned status.
The name was partly inspired by the eRepubulik error code we receive so often in calculations.
NaN is also a popular baby formula.
What can I say, we are weird guys with a strange sense of humour born from being pummelled mercilessly for 5 years by a merciless mechanic.
The butterfly motif comes form Iron Butterflies which is a pseudonym for butterfly knives: not effective damage-wise but quite painful to deal with when you are in a fight. The alliance MU actions were done as Iron Butterfly.
There is a more updated testudo-shield pic somewhere, but I stopped editing them when Wolf was formed.
I know all this because Xavier Griffith, Majester and I co-wrote the constitution and started the initial talks between Australia and South Africa with Cyprus being recruited shortly afterwards by Grimstone of South Africa for the founding of NaN in February 2013. Initially we wanted to start a free formal alliance between an existing informal alliance before creating an alliance would cost Gold. Unfortunately alliance features have been a bit disappointing, thus reinforcing the bipolar structure we still see today.