Read e-book online Flag, Nation and Symbolism in Europe and America PDF

By Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Richard Jenkins

ISBN-10: 0203934962

ISBN-13: 9780203934968

ISBN-10: 0415444047

ISBN-13: 9780415444040

Even if the symbolic and political significance of flags has frequently been pointed out by way of students of nationalism, there are few in-depth reports of the importance of flags for nationwide identities. This multi-disciplinary assortment deals case reviews and comparisons of flag historical past, makes use of and controversies. This ebook brings jointly a dozen students, from various nationwide and disciplinary backgrounds, to deals a cluster of shut readings of flags of their social contexts, ordinarily modern, but additionally historic. Case reports from Denmark, England, Northern eire, Norway, Sweden, and the us discover ways that flags are contested, fire up robust feelings, might be commercialised in a few contexts yet no longer in others, function quasi-religious symbols, and as actual boundary markers; how an identical flag might be solemn and formal in a single environment, yet stand for household bliss and casual cultural intimacy in one other.  

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National flags therefore ‘condense’ a range of meanings and emotions pertaining to a group’s perceived common historical experience, real or imagined cultural homogeneity, and efforts to define a similarity of outlook for the future. Frequently a central purpose for such flags is to highlight centripetal forces of cohesion, to overcome all existing centrifugal forces of disunion. This function is clearly critical in the multi-national states that dominate the roll of existing countries in the world today.

Thus, the hereditary principle of the heraldic coat of arms has, to some extent, been transferred to national ‘inheritance’, via monarchical rights. For example, there is a legend of the creation of the Austrian flag (a tricolour with horizontal stripes of red, white and red) that found its present form with the dissolution of the AustroHungarian Empire in 1918. The legend has it that the red-white-red stripes have their origin in the Third Crusade of 1189–92, when Duke Leopold V 20 Gabriella Elgenius of Austria fought in the bloody Battle of Acre (Ptolemais) of 1191.

The colours red, white and blue became recognised as the pan-Slavic colours, and were later associated with the nineteenth-century movement recognising a common ethnic background for the eastern, western and southern Slavs, a movement rejected by the competing national identities which emerged in the twentieth century. Secondly, European flags may be categorised in accordance with their immediate origins, as symbols of warfare, revolution, independence, or statereconstitution. The earliest flags are symbols of warfare (of which some appeared as cross flags or as naval flags), as in the cases of Denmark, Sweden, England, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Russia.

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Flag, Nation and Symbolism in Europe and America by Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Richard Jenkins


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