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

By Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Richard Jenkins

Even supposing the symbolic and political significance of flags has frequently been pointed out via students of nationalism, there are few in-depth experiences of the importance of flags for nationwide identities. This multi-disciplinary assortment deals case stories and comparisons of flag historical past, makes use of and controversies. This e-book brings jointly a dozen students, from various nationwide and disciplinary backgrounds, to deals a cluster of shut readings of flags of their social contexts, often modern, but in addition historic. Case reports from Denmark, England, Northern eire, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. discover ways that flags are contested, fan the flames of strong feelings, should be commercialised in a few contexts yet no longer in others, function quasi-religious symbols, and as actual boundary markers; how a similar flag should be solemn and formal in a single atmosphere, yet stand for household bliss and casual cultural intimacy in one other.  

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The Romans used different kinds of animals on vexillogical standards until 104 BC, after which the eagle became the sole standard of the Roman legions. Each legion had an eagle, whereas the various detached units also carried a vexillum (among the first vexilloids in fabric). The eagle standard would sometimes be thrown into the ranks of the enemy, after which the commander of the legion would order his men to recapture it. The parades of ancient Rome provided the context for the early vexilloids.

Meanwhile the power that finally led to the creation of the Mongol Empire arose in Asia. Many of the Mongol standards displayed a device, a ‘flaming trident’, reproducing the blades of a trident with flames surrounding them. The flag of the Khan himself consisted of nine yak-tails hanging from a rack of crossbars. After the conquest of China lateral flags were used, still with the horsetail and the flaming trident. The use of flags by the forces of Genghis Khan (ca 1155–1227) was significant for the development of a world-wide flag tradition, in that a special flag, actually called ‘banner’, came to be connected with each regiment (Crampton 1992: 113).

S. (Hague et al. 2007; Webster 2004; Webster and Leib 2007). Scale and the Confederate battle flag debate At the core of many contemporary controversies over the Confederate battle flag is the regional identity of the South. Who among the region’s population may claim appropriate lineage as a ‘Southerner’? Does the term apply to all of those who are from the region, or only to a subset of the region’s population, namely, whites? It is critical to point out that these debates over the flag and regional identity are being waged at a number of different geographic scales above and below that of the region of the South.

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