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Banal Nationalism (1995)
- Banal Nationalism (1995)
- For example, each nation is expected to have its own flag and national anthem.
- p. 85
- A national anthem is a universal sign of particularity. The conventions of the oeuvre demand that the uniqueness of the nation be celebrated in a universally stylized manner. National anthems not only fit a common pattern, but it is part of their symbolism that they are seen to do so. They flag the nation as a nation among nations, as flags themselves do.
- p. 86
- Each flag will have its own particular symbols like the chakra-dhavaja, or wheel, in the Indian flag, or the Protestant orange and Catholic green in the flag of Eire. Even as a flag indicates particularity, with its own particularity, with its own individual patterns (whether the Stars and Stripes, the Union Jack, the Tricolor or whatever), it also flags its own universality. Each flag, by its conventional rectangular pattern, announces itself to be an element of an established, recognizable series, in which all the flags are essentially similar in their conventions of difference. The odd exception, like the pennant-shaped flag of Nepal, only serves to confirm the general rule. New nations, in designing their flags, tend to follow heraldic convention of colour as well as shape: they avoid certain shades like shocking pink and kingfisher blue (Firth, 1973). The hoisting of the newly designed flag indicates that another nation has joined the club of nations: 'we' have become like 'you' (no longer 'them'); 'we' are all nations, with 'our' flags and 'our' anthems, 'our' seats in the United Nations, and 'our' participation, with appropriately designed vests at Olympic Games and World Cups.
- p. 86
- Nationalism does not provide a single way of talking about the world.
- pp. 86–87
- Encyclopedic article on Michael Billig at Wikipedia