The Importance of Old and New Symbolism in Modern Scottish National Identity
Keywords:Scotland, nationalism, national identity, symbols
This paper considers the use of myths and symbols, and the culture and values that underpin contemporary Scottish Identity. Symbols and myths play very important role in contemporary Scottish national identity, and many have a centuries- old tradition and are clearly associated with Scottishness, while others, created much later, are an important element of national belonging for Scots. Interestingly, some of these symbols and myths are so prominent and expressive that they are associated with Scottishness around the world. Others, on the other hand, are less recognisable worldwide, but have significant efficacy in Scotland. The importance of symbols that underpin, define and re-enforce Scottish national identity cannot be understated. They are evidence of pride in being Scottish and of belonging to the Scottish nation. Symbols and myths enable Scots, both old and new to express their national belonging. Furthermore, they provide an important element of national cohesion and a sense of national identity in turbulent times. We consider the issue of the song, dress, land and flag of the nation, and how they contribute to a sense of Scottishness at home (and abroad) today.
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