The Flag and the Street
Nefissa Naguib's essay titled "The Flag and the Street" is published in Contested Memories and the Demands of the Past:History Cultures in the Modern Muslim World
The chapter is about the relationship between flags and revolutions. Flags are entities of vast national identifications and symbolisms. When nation-states make war in the name of national sovereignty, they routinely demand sacrifices so that a familiar way of life will continue, and not be consigned to history. In the turmoil of such conflicts, it is difficult if not impossible to step away from the immediacy of the moment and reflect upon what in the flag is being defended. Are we talking about abstract values such as freedom and democracy, or of concrete realities such as the way people live their daily lives? The answer, it seems, is always a mixture of the two. Abstract concepts do not reveal themselves in abstract ways, but through concrete practices – ways of making and doing things – identities have their own histories and approaches to transmission.