Blue and Yellow: the Commodification of National Ideologies

ukrainianprotester

Original: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0XPDokdkubc/VA12O2qaeMI/AAAAAAAAEu4/ruyMokp5TBY/s1600/YzvhbcYmmmMpWYmm.jpg Original: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0XPDokdkubc/VA12O2qaeMI/AAAAAAAAEu4/ruyMokp5TBY/s1600/YzvhbcYmmmMpWYmm.jpg

This came to me as I was getting off my flight from Madrid to Kyiv.  I stood in the  aisle behind a man who was quite staggering in his size and manner of behavior, but what caught my eye was not his attitude, it was his suspenders. They were tricolored like the Russian flag, and the little divider at the back, where one strip turns into two to later go over his shoulder, was leather with the double-headed eagle painted on it in already faded golden ink.

This got me thinking. When did branding become an essential ingredient of patriotism? As far as I can recall, even a year ago the majority of the Ukrainian population had a very vague idea of what a vyshyvanka felt like against their skin. I’m pretty sure that the blue-and-yellow ribbon business was slowly going bankrupt. Tourists were the only ones who…

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