A national epic is an epic poem or a literary work of epic scope which seeks or is believed to capture and express the essence or spirit of a particular nation. National epics recount the origin of a nation, a part of its history, or a crucial event in the development of national identity such as other national symbols. In a broader sense, a national epic may be an epic in the national language which the people or government of that nation are proud of, it is distinct from a pan-national epic, taken as representative of a larger cultural or linguistic group than a nation or a nation-state. In medieval times Homer's Iliad was taken to be based on historical facts, the Trojan War came to be considered as seminal in the genealogies of European monarchies. Virgil's Aeneid was taken to be the Roman equivalent of the Iliad, starting from the Fall of Troy and leading up to the birth of the young Roman nation. According to the prevailing conception of history, empires were born and died in organic succession and correspondences existed between the past and the present.
Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century classically inspired Historia Regum Britanniae, for example, fulfilled this function for the British or Welsh. Just as kings longed to emulate great leaders of the past, Alexander or Caesar, it was a temptation for poets to become a new Homer or Virgil. In 16th century Portugal, Luis de Camões celebrated Portugal as a naval power in his Os Lusíadas while Pierre de Ronsard set out to write La Franciade, an epic meant to be the Gallic equivalent of Virgil's poem that traced back France's ancestry to Trojan princes; the emergence of a national ethos, preceded the coining of the phrase national epic, which seems to originate with Romantic nationalism. Where no obvious national epic existed, the "Romantic spirit" was motivated to fill it. An early example of poetry, invented to fill a perceived gap in "national" myth is Ossian, the narrator and supposed author of a cycle of poems by James Macpherson, which Macpherson claimed to have translated from ancient sources in Scottish Gaelic.
However, many national epics antedate 19th-century romanticism. In the early 20th century, the phrase no longer applies to an epic poem, occurs to describe a literary work that readers and critics agree is emblematical of the literature of a nation, without including details from that nation's historical background. In this context the phrase has positive connotations, as for example in James Joyce's Ulysses where it is suggested Don Quixote is Spain's national epic while Ireland's remains as yet unwritten: They remind one of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Our national epic has yet to be written, Dr Sigerson says. Moore is the man for it. A knight of the rueful countenance here in Dublin. Poems that have been described as national epics include: Egypt – Story of Sinuhe Mali – Epic of Sundiata Nigeria – Epic of Bayajidda Itan Tale of Eri Argentina – Martín Fierro by José Hernández Brazil – Caramuru, by Santa Rita Durão O Uraguai, by Basílio da Gama Chile – La Araucana/The Araucaniad by Alonso de Ercilla y Zuñiga United States – The Columbiad by Joel Barlow The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Evangeline by Longfellow The Cantos by Ezra Pound Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Uruguay – La Leyenda Patria by Juan Zorrilla de San Martín Cambodia – Reamker Georgia – The Knight in the Panther's Skin by Shota Rustaveli Indian subcontinent India Mahabharata Ramayana Tirukkural Silappathikaram Sri Lanka Mahavamsa Iran and Persian speakers Shahnameh Amir Arsalan Iraq / Babylonians / Mesopotamia – Epic of Gilgamesh Indonesia Kakawin Rāmâyaṇa Ramakavaca Israel / Hebrews – Book of Job Japan The Tale of the Heike Kipchaks – Chora Batir Korea Jewang Ungi by Yi Seung-hyu Kyrgyz people – Epic of Manas Laos – Phra Lak Phra Lam Mongols – Epic of Jangar Myanmar – Yama Zatdaw Philippines – Biag ni Lam-ang Florante at Laura Hinilawod Hudhud Ibalon Ibong Adarna Maradia Lawana Tibet – Epic of King Gesar Thailand – Khun Chang Khun Phaen Yuan Phai Ramakien Phra Aphai Mani Albania – Lahuta e Malcís by Gjergj Fishta Italy, ancient – Aeneid by Virgil Armenia – Daredevils of Sassoun Bulgaria – Епопея на Забравените by Ivan Vazov Catalonia – L'Atlàntida and Canigó by Jacint Verdaguer Croatia – Judita by Marko Marulić England Beowulf The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser Paradise Lost by John Milton Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson Estonia – Kalevipoeg by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald Europe southern – Iliad and Odyssey by Homer Aeneid by Virgil Finland – Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot France La Chanson de Roland La Chanson de Guillaume Gormond et Isembart Franciade by Pierre Ronsard Georgia – The Knight in the Panther's Skin by Shota Rustaveli Germany Nibelungenlied Faust Greece, Ancient – Iliad and Odyssey by Homer Greece – Digenes Akritas Hungary – Siege of Sziget by Miklós Zrínyi Iceland – The Poetic Edda Ireland Táin Bó Cúailnge Fenian Cycle Lebor Gabála Érenn Ulster Cycle Italy – Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso Latvia – Lāčplēsis by Andrejs Pum
Zionism is the nationalist movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel. Modern Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe as a national revival movement, both in reaction to newer waves of antisemitism and as an imitative response to other nationalist movements. Soon after this, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire; until 1948, the primary goals of Zionism were the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, ingathering of the exiles, liberation of Jews from the antisemitic discrimination and persecution that they experienced during their diaspora. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism continues to advocate on behalf of Israel and to address threats to its continued existence and security. A religious variety of Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity defined as adherence to religious Judaism, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies, has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority nation in their own state.
A variety of Zionism, called cultural Zionism and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha'am, fostered a secular vision of a Jewish "spiritual center" in Israel. Unlike Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, Ahad Ha'am strived for Israel to be "a Jewish state and not a state of Jews". Advocates of Zionism view it as a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a persecuted people residing as minorities in a variety of nations to their ancestral homeland. Critics of Zionism view it as a colonialist and exceptionalist ideology that led advocates to violence during Mandatory Palestine, followed by the exodus of Palestinians, the subsequent denial of their right to return to property lost during the 1948 war; the term "Zionism" is derived from the word Zion. Throughout eastern Europe in the late 19th century, numerous grassroots groups were promoting the national resettlement of the Jews in their homeland, as well as the revitalization and cultivation of the Hebrew language; these groups were collectively called the "Lovers of Zion" and were seen to encounter a growing Jewish movement toward assimilation.
The first use of the term is attributed to the Austrian Nathan Birnbaum, founder of the Kadimah nationalist Jewish students' movement. The common denominator among all Zionists is the claim to Eretz Israel as the national homeland of the Jews and as the legitimate focus for Jewish national self-determination, it is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. Zionism does not have a uniform ideology, but has evolved in a dialogue among a plethora of ideologies: General Zionism, Religious Zionism, Labor Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, Green Zionism, etc. After two millennia of the Jewish diaspora residing in various countries without a national state, the Zionist movement was founded in the late 19th century by secular Jews as a response by Ashkenazi Jews to rising antisemitism in Europe, exemplified by the Dreyfus affair in France and the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire; the political movement was formally established by the Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl in 1897 following the publication of his book Der Judenstaat.
At that time, the movement sought to encourage Jewish migration to Ottoman Palestine. Although one of several Jewish political movements offering alternative responses to assimilation and antisemitism, Zionism expanded rapidly. In its early stages, supporters considered setting up a Jewish state in the historic territory of Palestine. After World War II and the destruction of Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe where these alternative movements were rooted, it became dominant in the thinking about a Jewish national state. Creating an alliance with Great Britain and securing support for some years for Jewish emigration to Palestine, Zionists recruited European Jews to immigrate there Jews who lived in areas of the Russian Empire where anti-semitism was raging; the alliance with Britain was strained as the latter realized the implications of the Jewish movement for Arabs in Palestine, but the Zionists persisted. The movement was successful in establishing Israel on May 14, 1948, as the homeland for the Jewish people.
The proportion of the world's Jews living in Israel has grown since the movement emerged. By the early 21st century, more than 40% of the world's Jews lived in Israel, more than in any other country; these two outcomes represent the historical success of Zionism, are unmatched by any other Jewish political movement in the past 2,000 years. In some academic studies, Zionism has been analyzed both within the larger context of diaspora politics and as an example of modern national liberation movements. Zionism sought assimilation of Jews into the modern world; as a result of the diaspora, many of the Jewish people remained outsiders within their adopted countries and became detached from modern ideas. So-called "assimilationist" Jews desired complete integration into European society, they were willing to downplay their Jewish identity and in some cases to abandon traditional views and opinions in an attempt at modernization and assimilation
A national anthem is a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. The majority of national anthems are hymns in style; the countries of Latin America, Central Asia, Europe tend towards more ornate and operatic pieces, while those in the Middle East, Oceania and the Caribbean use a more simplistic fanfare. Some countries that are devolved into multiple constituent states have their own official musical compositions for them. A national anthem is most in the national or most common language of the country, whether de facto or official, there are notable exceptions. Most states with more than one national language may offer several versions of their anthem, for instance: The "Swiss Psalm", the national anthem of Switzerland, has different lyrics for each of the country's four official languages; the national anthem of Canada, "O Canada", has official lyrics in both English and French which are not translations of each other, is sung with a mixture of stanzas, representing the country's bilingual nature.
The song itself was written in French. "The Soldier's Song", the national anthem of Ireland, was written and adopted in English, but an Irish translation, although never formally adopted, is nowadays always sung instead. The current South African national anthem is unique in that five of the country's eleven official languages are used in the same anthem, it was created by combining two different songs together and modifying the lyrics and adding new ones. One of the two official national anthems of New Zealand, "God Defend New Zealand", is now sung with the first verse in Māori and the second in English; the tune is the same but the words are not a direct translation of each other. "God Bless Fiji" has lyrics in Fijian which are not translations of each other. Although official, the Fijian version is sung, it is the English version, performed at international sporting events. Although Singapore has four official languages, with English being the current lingua franca, the national anthem, "Majulah Singapura" is in Malay and by law can only be sung with its original Malay lyrics, despite the fact that Malay is a minority language in Singapore.
This is because Part XIII of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore declares, “the national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in the Roman script ” There are several countries that do not have official lyrics to their national anthems. One of these is the national anthem of Spain. Although it had lyrics those lyrics were discontinued after governmental changes in the early 1980s after Francisco Franco's dictactorship. In 2007 a national competition to write words was held. Other national anthems with no words include "Inno Nazionale della Repubblica", the national anthem of San Marino, that of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that of Kosovo, entitled "Europe"; the national anthem of India, "Jana Gana Mana", the official lyrics are in the Devnagari. The lyrics were adopted from a Bengali poem written by Rabindranath Tagore. Despite the most common language in Wales being English, the Welsh regional anthem "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" is sung in the Welsh language; the national anthem of Finland, was first written in Swedish and only translated to Finnish.
It is nowadays sung in both languages as there is a Swedish speaking minority of about 6% in the country. National anthems rose to prominence in Europe during the 19th century, but some originated much earlier; the presumed oldest national anthem belongs to the Netherlands and is called the "Wilhelmus". It was written between 1568 and 1572 during the Dutch Revolt and its current melody variant was composed shortly before 1626, it was a popular orangist march during the 17th century but it did not become the official Dutch national anthem until 1932. The Japanese national anthem, "Kimigayo", has the oldest lyrics, which were taken from a Heian period poem, yet it was not set to music until 1880; the Philippine national anthem "Lupang Hinirang" was composed in 1898 as wordless incidental music for the ceremony declaring independence from the Spanish Empire. The Spanish poem "Filipinas" was written the following year to serve as the anthem's lyrics. "God Save the Queen", the national anthem of the United Kingdom and the royal anthem reserved for use in the presence of the Monarch in some Commonwealth realms, was first performed in 1619 under the title "God Save the King".
It is not the national anthem of the UK, though it became such through custom and usage. Spain's national anthem, the "Marcha Real", written in 1761, was among the first to be adopted as such, in 1770. Denmark adopted the older of its two national anthems, "Kong Christian stod ved højen mast", in 1780. Serbia became the first Eastern European nation to have a national anthem – "Rise up, Serbia!" – in 1804."Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu", the national anthem of Kenya, is one of the first national anthems to be specifical
Left-wing nationalism or leftist nationalism known as socialist nationalism, describes a form of nationalism based upon social equality, popular sovereignty and national self-determination. Left-wing nationalism can include anti-imperialism and national liberation movements, it stands in contrast to right-wing nationalism and rejects ethno-nationalism to this same end, although some forms of left-wing nationalism have included a platform of racialism, favoring a homogeneous society, a rejection of minorities and opposition to immigration. Notable left-wing nationalist movements in history have included Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army, which promoted independence of India from Britain. Marxism identifies the nation as a socioeconomic construction created after the collapse of the feudal system, utilized to create the capitalist economic system. Classical Marxists have unanimously claimed that nationalism is a "bourgeois phenomenon", not associated with Marxism. In certain instances, Marxism has supported nationalist movements if they were in the interest of class struggle, but rejects other nationalist movements deemed to distract workers from their necessary goal of defeating the bourgeoisie.
Marxists have evaluated certain nations to be "progressive" and other nations to be "reactionary". Joseph Stalin, for instance, supported interpretations of Marx tolerating the use of proletarian nationalism that promoted class struggle within an internationalist framework. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels interpreted issues concerning nationality on a social evolutionary basis. Marx and Engels claim that the creation of the modern nation state is the result of the replacement of feudalism with the capitalist mode of production. With the replacement of feudalism with capitalism, capitalists sought to unify and centralize populations' culture and language within states in order to create conditions conducive to a market economy in terms of having a common language to coordinate the economy, to contain a large enough population in the state to insure an internal division of labour and to contain a large enough territory for a state to maintain a viable economy. Though Marx and Engels saw the origins of the nation state and national identity as bourgeois in nature, both believed that the creation of the centralized state as a result of the collapse of feudalism and creation of capitalism had created positive social conditions to stimulate class struggle.
Marx followed Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's view that the creation of individual-centred civil society by states as a positive development in that it dismantled previous religious-based society and freed individual conscience. In The German Ideology, Marx claims that although civil society is a capitalist creation and represents bourgeois class rule, it is beneficial to the proletariat because it is unstable in that neither states nor the bourgeoisie can control a civil society. Marx described this in detail in The German Ideology, saying: Civil society embraces the whole material intercourse of individuals within a definite stage of development of productive forces, it embraces the whole commercial and industrial life of a given stage, insofar, transcends the state and the nation, though on the other hand, it must assert itself in its foreign relations as nationality and inwardly must organize itself as a state. Marx and Engels evaluated progressive nationalism as involving the destruction of feudalism and believed that it was a beneficial step, but evaluated nationalism detrimental to the evolution of international class struggle as reactionary and necessary to be destroyed.
Marx and Engels believed that certain nations that could not consolidate viable nation-states should be assimilated into other nations that were more viable and further in Marxian evolutionary economic progress. On the issue of nations and the proletariat, The Communist Manifesto says: The working men have no country. We can not take from them. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word. National differences and antagonism between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto; the supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.
In general, Marx preferred internationalism and interaction between nations in class struggle, saying in Preface to the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy that "ne nation can and should learn from others". Though Marx and Engels criticized Irish unrest for delaying a worker's revolution in England, both Marx and Engels believed that Ireland was oppressed by Great Britain, but that the Irish people would better serve their own interests by joining proponents of class struggle in Europe as Marx and Engels claimed that the socialist workers of Europe were the natural allies of Ireland. Marx and Engels believed that it was in Britain's best interest to let Ireland go as the Ireland issue
Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expression of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Defenders of Hindu nationalism have tried to avoid the label "nationalism" by arguing that the use of the term "Hindu nationalism" to refer to Hindū rāṣṭravāda is a simplistic translation and is better described by the term "Hindu polity"; the native thought streams became relevant in Indian history when they helped form a distinctive identity in relation to the Indian polity and provided a basis for questioning colonialism. They inspired the independence movements against the British Raj based on armed struggle, coercive politics, non-violent protests, they influenced social reform movements and economic thinking in India. Hindutva, a term popularised by Hindu nationalist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1923, is the predominant form of Hindu nationalism in India. Hindutva is championed by right-wing Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh regarded as the BJP's parent organisation, along with its affiliate organisations, notably the Vishva Hindu Parishad.
Many Hindu reform movements originated in the nineteenth century. These movements led to the fresh interpretations of the ancient scriptures of Upanishads and Vedanta and emphasised on social reform; the marked feature of these movements was that they countered the notion of western superiority and white supremacy propounded by the colonizers as a justification for British colonialism in India. This led to the upsurge of patriotic ideas that formed the cultural and an ideological basis for the independence movement in India; the Brahmo Samaj was started by a Bengali scholar, Ram Mohan Roy in 1828. Ram Mohan Roy endeavoured to create from the ancient Upanishadic texts, a vision of rationalist'modern' India, he criticized the ongoing superstitions, believed in a monotheistic Vedic religion. His major emphasis was social reform, he advocated equal rights for women. Although the Brahmos found favourable response from the British Government and the Westernized Indians, they were isolated from the larger Hindu society due to their intellectual Vedantic and Unitarian views.
But their efforts to systematise Hindu spirituality based on rational and logical interpretation of the ancient Indian texts would be carried forward by other movements in Bengal and across India. Arya Samaj is considered one of the overarching Hindu renaissance movements of the late nineteenth century. Swami Dayananda, the founder of Arya Samaj, rejected idolatry, caste restriction and untouchability, child marriage and advocated equal status and opportunities for women, he opposed "Brahmanism" as much as he opposed Islam. Although Arya Samaj was considered as a social movement, many revolutionaries and political leaders of the Indian Independence movement like Ramprasad Bismil, Bhagat Singh, Shyamji Krishnavarma, Bhai Paramanand and Lala Lajpat Rai were to be inspired by it. Another 19th-century Hindu reformer was Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda as a student was educated in contemporary Western thought, he joined Brahmo Samaj before meeting Ramakrishna, a priest in the temple of the goddess Kali in Calcutta and, to become his guru.
Under the influence of Orientalism and Universalism, Vivekananda re-interpreted Advaita Vedanta, presenting it as the essence of Hindu spirituality, the development of human's religiosity. This project started with Ram Mohan Roy of Brahmo Samaj, who collaborated with the Unitarian Church, propagated a strict monotheism; this reinterpretation produced neo-Vedanta, in which Advaita Vedanta was combined with disciplines such as yoga and the concept of social service to attain perfection from the ascetic traditions in what Vivekananda called the "practical Vedanta". The practical side included participation in social reform, he made Hindu spirituality, intellectually available to the Westernized audience. His famous speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago on 11 September 1893, followed huge reception of his thought in the West and made him a well-known figure in the West and subsequently in India too, his influence can still be recognised in popular western spirituality, such as nondualism, New Age and the veneration of Ramana Maharshi.
A major element of Vivekananda's message was nationalist. He saw his effort much in terms of a revitalisation of the Hindu nation, which carried Hindu spirituality and which could counter Western materialism; the notions of White supremacy and Western superiority believed by the colonizers, were to be questioned based on Hindu spirituality. This kind of spiritual Hinduism was carried forward by Mahatma Gandhi and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, it became a main inspiration for the current brand of Hindu nationalism today. One of the most revered leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Babasaheb Apte's lifelong pet sentence was "Vivekananda is like Gita for the RSS." Some historians have observed that this helped the nascent Independence movement with a distinct national identity and kept it from being the simple derivative function of European nationalisms. Sri Aurobindo was a nationalist and one of the first to embrace the idea of complete political independence for India, he was inspired by the novels of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.
He “based his claim for freedom for India on the inherent right to freedom, not on any charge of misgovernment or oppression”. He believed that the primary requisite for national progress, national reform, is the free habit of
National identity is a person's identity or sense of belonging to one state or to one nation. It is the sense of a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture and politics. National identity may refer to the subjective feeling one shares with a group of people about a nation, regardless of one's legal citizenship status. National identity is viewed in psychological terms as "an awareness of difference", a "feeling and recognition of'we' and'they'"; as a collective phenomenon, national identity can arise as a direct result of the presence of elements from the "common points" in people's daily lives: national symbols, the nation's history, national consciousness, cultural artefacts. The expression of one's national identity seen in a positive light is patriotism, characterized by national pride and positive emotion of love for one's country; the extreme expression of national identity is chauvinism, which refers to the firm belief in the country's superiority and extreme loyalty toward one's country.
National identity is not an inborn trait and it is socially constructed. A person's national identity results directly from the presence of elements from the "common points" in people's daily lives: national symbols, colors, nation's history, blood ties, music, radio, so on. Under various social influences, people incorporate national identity into their personal identities by adopting beliefs, values and expectations which align with one's national identity. People with identification of their nation view national beliefs and values as meaningful, translate these beliefs and values into daily practices. Political scientist Rupert Emerson defined national identity as "a body of people who feel that they are a nation"; this definition of national identity was endorsed by social psychologist, Henri Tajfel, who formulated social identity theory together with John Turner. Social identity theory adopts this definition of national identity, suggests that the conceptualization of national identity includes both self-categorization and affect.
Self-categorization refers to viewing oneself as a member of a nation. The affect part refers to the emotion a person has with this identification, such as a sense of belonging, or emotional attachment toward one's nation; the mere awareness of belonging to a certain group invokes positive emotions about the group, leads to a tendency to act on behalf of that group when the other group members are sometimes unknown. National identity requires the process of self-categorization and it involves both the identification of in-group, differentiation of out-groups. By recognizing commonalities such as having common descent and common destiny, people identify with a nation and form an in-group, at the same time they view people that identify with a different nation as out-groups. Social identity theory suggests a positive relationship between identification of a nation and derogation of other nations. By identifying with one's nation, people involve in intergroup comparisons, tend to derogate out-groups.
However, several studies have investigated this relationship between national identity and derogating other countries, found that identifying with national identity does not result in out-group derogation. National identity, like other social identities, engenders positive emotions such as pride and love to one's nation, feeling of obligations toward other citizens; the socialization of national identity, such as socializing national pride and a sense of the country's exceptionalism contributes to harmony among ethnic groups. For example, in the U. S, by integrating diverse ethnic groups in the overarching identity of being an American, people are united by a shared emotion of national pride and the feeling of belonging to the U. S, thus tend to mitigate ethnic conflicts. National identity can be most noticeable when the nation confronts external or internal enemy and natural disasters. An example of this phenomenon is the rise in patriotism and national identity in the U. S after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The identity of being an American is salient after the terrorist attacks and American national identity is evoked. Having a common threat or having a common goal unites people in a nation and enhances national identity. Sociologist Anthony Smith argues that national identity has the feature of continuity that can transmit and persist through generations. By expressing the myths of having common descent and common destiny, people's sense of belonging to a nation is enhanced. However, national identities can disappear across time as more people live in foreign countries for a longer time, can be challenged by supranational identities, which refers to identifying with a more inclusive, larger group that includes people from multiple nations. National identity can be thought as a collective product. Through socialization, a system of beliefs, values and expectations is transmitted to group members; the collective elements of national identity may include national symbols and memories of national experiences and achievements.
These collective elements are rooted in the nation's history. Depending on how much the individual is exposed to the socialization of this system, people incorporate national identity to their personal identity to different degrees and in different ways, the collective elements of national identity may become important parts of individual's definition of the self and how they view the world and their own place in it. In countries that have multiple ethnic groups, ethnic identity and national identity may be in conflict
A national flag is a flag that represents and symbolizes a country. The national flag is flown by the government of a country, but can also be flown by citizens of the country. A national flag is designed with specific meanings for its symbols; the colours of the national flag may be worn by the people of a nation to show their patriotism, or related paraphernalia that show the symbols or colours of the flag may be used for those purposes. The design of a national flag may be altered after the occurrence of important historical events; the burning or destruction of a national flag is a symbolic act. Flags originate as military standards, used as field signs; the practice of flying flags indicating the country of origin outside of the context of warfare became common with the maritime flag, introduced during the age of sail, in the early 17th century. The origins of the Union Jack flag date back to 1603, when James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones, thereby uniting the crowns of England and Ireland in a personal union.
On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England, the flag of Scotland, would be joined together, forming the flag of Great Britain and first Union Flag. With the emergence of nationalist sentiment from the late 18th century national flags began to be displayed in civilian contexts as well. Notable early examples include the US flag, first adopted as a naval ensign in 1777 but began to be displayed as a generic symbol of the United States after the American Revolution, the French Tricolore, which became a symbol of the Republic in the 1790s. Most countries of Europe adopted a national flag in the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries based on older war flags; the specifications of the flag of Denmark were codified based on a 14th-century design. The flag of Switzerland was introduced in 1889 based on medieval war flags; the Netherlands introduced two national flags in 1813. The Ottoman flag was adopted in 1844.
Other non-European powers followed the trend in the late 19th century, the flag of Japan being introduced in 1870, that of Qing China in 1890. In the 19th century, most countries of South America introduced a flag as they became independent The national flag is but not always, mentioned or described in a country's constitution, but its detailed description may be delegated to a flag law passed by the legislative, or secondary legislation or in monarchies a decree. Thus, the national flag is mentioned in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany of 1949 "the federal flag is black-red-gold", but its proportions were regulated in a document passed by the government in the following year; the Flag of the United States is not defined in the constitution but rather in a separate Flag Resolution passed in 1777. Minor design changes of national flags are passed on a legislative or executive level, while substantial changes have constitutional character; the design of the flag of Serbia omitting the communist star of the flag of Yugoslavia was a decision made in the 1992 Serbian constitutional referendum, but the adoption of a coat of arms within the flag was based on a government "recommendation" in 2003, adopted legislatively in 2009 and again subject to a minor design change in 2010.
The Flag of the United States underwent numerous changes because the number of stars represents the number of states, proactively defined in a Flag Act of 1818 to the effect that "on the admission of every new state into the Union, one star be added to the union of the flag". A change in national flag is due to a change of regime following a civil war or revolution. In such cases, the military origins of the national flag and its connection to political ideology remains visible. In such cases national flags acquire the status of a political symbol; the flag of Germany, for instance, was a tricolour of black-white-red under the German Empire, inherited from the North German Confederation. The Weimar Republic that followed adopted a black-red-gold tricolour. Nazi Germany went back to black-white-red in 1933, black-red-gold was reinstituted by the two successor states, West Germany and East Germany following World War II; the flag of Libya introduced with the creation of the Kingdom of Libya in 1951 was abandoned in 1969 with the coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi.
It was used again by National Transitional Council and by anti-Gaddafi forces during the Libyan Civil War in 2011 and adopted by the Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration. There are three distinct types of national flag for use on land, three for use at sea, though many countries use identical designs for several of these types of flag. On land, there is a distinction between civil flags, state flags, war or military flags. Civil flags may be flown by anyone regardless of whether they are linked to government, whereas state flags are those used by government agencies. War flags are used by military organizations such as Armies, Marine Corp