This paper explores the ideological work performed by the inconspicuous flagging of the nation across four locations: Bucharest (Romania), Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Calgary (Canada) and Madrid (Spain). Using data collected between 2012 and 2016, the paper maps the use of the nation in outdoor signage across different urban landscapes. This mundane flagging of diverse nations performs a triple function: it reproduces the nation as a universal epistemic category, it entrenches mobility within the imaginary of contemporary urban life and it sanitises select mobilities and the power dynamics producing them. The ongoing use of the nation by different objects in our urban surroundings participates in the naturalisation of nationalism, furthering existing trends in the commercialisation of the nation and its reinvention as an innocuous brand addressing a global marketplace.

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Keywords banal cosmopolitanism, banal nationalism, globalisation, visual studies
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Journal Nations and Nationalism
Dumitrica, D. (2019). The ideological work of the daily visual representations of nations. Nations and Nationalism, 25(3), 910–934. doi:10.1111/nana.12520