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Strengthening National Identity through National Symbols and Historical Narrative - Do National Leaders have a Role to Play?

W Isaacs-Martin

Abstract


South Africans vacillate in their national identity and remain largely attached to their racial and ethnic group identities. The aim of this article is to illustrate the manner in which a sense of understanding, familiarity and pride with regard to national symbols and thus to national identity can be attained. The objective is that the onus falls on national leaders to take ownership of the symbols so that these symbols can be internalised and a stronger national identity created. The use of national symbols must transcend issues of ethnicity, race and language. The method utilised assists in developing a conceptual approach to the existing theory and literature on nationalism, national identity and symbols. The conclusion is that national leaders have the public mandate, the opportunity and the infl uence to promote national symbols to strengthen national identity



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ai.v40i3.64397
AJOL African Journals Online