National symbol


National symbol

A national symbol is a symbol of any entity considering itself and manifesting itself to the world as a national community – namely sovereign states, but also nations and countries in a state of colonial or other dependence, (con)federal integration, or even an ethnocultural community considered a 'nationality' despite the absence of political autonomy.

National symbols intend to unite people by creating visual, verbal, or iconic representations of the national people, values, goals, or history.

These symbols are often rallied around as part of celebrations of patriotism or aspiring nationalism (such as independence, autonomy or separation movements) and are designed to be inclusive and representative of all the peoples of the national community.

Common official national symbols

  • The flag of a nation-state
  • The coat of arms, seal or stamp of the land and/or ruling dynasty
  • The associated device and/or motto can also be used separately
  • The national colors, often derived from the above
  • Either the above or more abstract symbols, especially crosses,
  • National anthems, royal and imperial hymns; alongside such official hymn(s) custom may also recognize the national symbol value of very popular songs
  • The office of the Head of State, and in case of a monarchy (often to some extent even after its political elimination) certain of its regalia, such as crown jewels
  • The Father of the Nation and other founding fathers
  • The national roundel for aircraft

Common unofficial national symbols

See also


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