Sypress Forlag

National Symbols in Multinational States: The Yugoslav Case


National Symbols in Multinational States: The Yugoslav Case

Svein Mønnesland

380 pp. Format 15x22,5 cm. Illustrated Kr. 395,-
ISBN 978-82-91224-54-1

National symbols – coats of arms, anthems, national days, etc. In multinational Yugoslavia and the successor states national symbols often triggered conflicts. Richly illustrated with emblems, political cartoons, postcards, monuments, etc. 


Introduction: National Symbols 7

1.  South Slavic National Symbols in Austria-Hungary 17

2.  National Symbols in the First Common State 33

3.  Zagreb v. Belgrade: Political Cartoons Between

     the Two World Wars 47

4.  World War II Symbolism 73

5.  Brotherhood and Unity: Creating a

     Yugoslav Symbolism 81

6.  When National Days Trigger Conflict 99

7.  National Anthems: Nationalism v.

     Political Correctness 139

8.  The Image of the Other: Arming Coats of Arms 191

9.  Caps and other Ethnic Metonyms 229

10. Religion as National Symbol 257

11. Contested Symbols: Njegoš and Andrić 275

12. Alexander v. Skanderbeg:

      Slavs and Albanians in Macedonia 287

13. Transforming National Icons 305

14. The Symbolic Use of Language:

Between Unitarism and Separatism 313

Concluding Remarks: Living in a Multinational State 353

About the Author 363

Bibliography 365

Index 373


National symbols played a crucial role in the shaping of a nation and national identity.

This book is also a contribution to the general discussion of national symbolism in multinational states, and of national symbols in general.

Since much of the material is taken from a period of conflict and warfare, it is also a contribution to the topic of nationalism, exemplified by visual expressions.

The author use material that are mostly taken from newspapers and magazines, mainly from the late Communist period and the conflicts after the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

Throughout the book visual elements are analysed. In several chapters political cartoons are used as material of research, not only as illustrations. Stamps, banknotes and other iconographic symbols are discussed, as well as many other symbols, like anthems, national days, coats of arms, religious symbols and the symbolic use of language.

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