An imagined community…?

What binds a nation together? Is it defined by allegiance to a flag, history and tradition or a constructed narrative about the nation-state?  Can the ‘truth’ of national identity be found in fixed racial categories, myths about origins, and certain primordial ‘facts’:- or must it be imagined into existence?

“(The nation)… is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their community.” [Benedict Anderson. “Imagined Communities”]

Imagined community? John Callaway 2010

Imagined community? John Callaway 2010

Perhaps in our quest for order we create patterns of exclusion…

“Where the mind is without fear 
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been 
broken up into fragments 
by narrow domestic walls; …
Where the clear stream of reason 
has not lost its way into the 
dreary desert sand of dead habit; …
Into that heaven of freedom, 
my Father, let my country awake”.  

From Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore. (1913)

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