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Flags, society and space: Towards a research agenda for vexillgeography.

Medway, D., Light, D., Warnaby, G., Byrom, J. and Young, C., 2019. Flags, society and space: Towards a research agenda for vexillgeography. Area, 51 (4), 689-696.

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DOI: 10.1111/area.12516


This paper proposes that flags are an important but under-theorised aspect of geographical inquiry and seeks to outline a new field of “vexillgeography,” which critically embraces the spatiality and performativity of flags. We start by outlining the potential of semiotics (and geosemiotics) to further our understanding of flags, focusing on iconic, indexical and symbolic modes of representation in relation to flag design and the marking of territories and boundaries. In so doing, we highlight the importance of flags in the ordering of both Cartesian and relational space. We then examine flags from a performativity perspective, emphasising their role as actants within wider assemblages, and the everyday affective and emotional responses to flying (and viewing) flags. We conclude by outlining an agenda for critical research into vexillgeographies, to explore the multiplicity of ways in which flags (or flag assemblages) can contribute to the construction of spatial meaning.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:affect; flags; performativity; territory; vexillgeography; vexillology
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:31473
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:19 Nov 2018 16:49
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:13


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