The title is a statement, not a question. So is the author suggesting that, yes, flags are worth dying for?
In this terrific book Tim Marshall explores, over about 300 pages, why it is that flags have become such strong semiotic devices across the 21st century globe.
As Amazon says in its splurge; In nine chapters (covering the USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, international flags and flags of terror), Tim Marshall draws on more than twenty-five years of global reporting experience to reveal the histories, the power and the politics of the symbols that unite us – and divide us.
I absolutely loved this.
Marshall has a nice line in sarcasm although he keeps that to a minimum. Largely the book is a fascinating historical insight into the power of flags, usually three colours or less.
Why green is so important in Islamic countries. Why blue can represent sky, sea and many other things. Why red is typically the colour of blood. Or, of communism.
Why maybe a half of global flags have a religious significance, almost all of those crosses are, yup, crucifixes.
Why regions congregate around themes. Ever wondered why all the Scandi flags are left biased crosses, just with different colour ways? Find out here.
It’s not just political flags either, we read about the chequered flag, the Olympic flag, the red cross and more.
A great read and a great opportunity to increase your score on University Challenge.