National identity is multi-dimensional and there are 5 fundamental features: historic territory or homeland, common myths and historical memories, a common mass public culture, common legal rights and duties for all members, and common economy with territorial mobility for members. The first feature is historic territory or homeland. Without territory that we call our own we cant have national identity. One example is the singing of the National Anthem. This is clearly a well-respected song of praise about the land that brings us freedom which we view as our beautiful country.
Territory is land that is claimed and called their own, yet there are nations in the past that have had their state and now became nations without states like Catalonia and Scotland. The United States is an example of a nation that doesnt have a dominant group and a multi-cultural society as a civic nation. An example from the lecture was how we cannot particularly identify an American here in America, but if we were to fly to Japan, an American can be identified very quickly because of their dominant groups.
Second, are the common myths and historical memories which are told. This pertains to national identity of people and about their origins. Historic memories refer to illustrations and historical events that become a part of the national story. An example in the lecture is the topic of 9/11. We put aside time to remember 9/11, often events associated with war and how identity is created. Also in national identity we pay taxes to people with never meet, because we have common bonds of obligations to each other, we care about strangers that are part of our nation.
We start seeing each other as human in which we outline ourselves in contra distinction to others. The third fundamental feature is the common mass public culture. This is the requirement that we have institutions that reach out and forge a sense of belonging to national identity. Schools and educational institutions are associated in this feature. An example is The Pledge of Allegiance, origins of nations are illustrations of why we learn is since kindergarten and how we must put our right hand over our heart and face the flag as we recite The Pledge of Allegiance.
Also, our calendar reminds us we are American and what it means to be American. For Americans the 4th of July is an example and for Mexicans the celebration of Cinco de Mayo is another example of national recognition to those living in Mexico. On Thanksgiving we give thanks because this is the day in which we merit the discovery of our country. In addition, the singing of the National Anthem that starts off the Super bowl also emphasizes the point that we participate in a common mass public culture. All of these examples symbolize that we are a multi-cultural society.
The fourth feature explains how common legal right and duties for all members speak to the coherence between nationalism and equality. Each one of us belongs to a different sub group, meaning our citizenship. The fifth and final feature is the common economy with territorial mobility, meaning getting rid of barriers for commerce for common trade. Keeping the same concurrent of currency and standards of measurements in the United States means you know your part of the same nation. The ability to travel freely from one place to another is what we acknowledge as a national identity.
For instance, if I were to travel to Ensenada, B. C I would most likely trade in my currency for pesos. A different currency system means a different nation. This also explains a part of what it means to have a national identity. In conclusion, national identity is formed from our interpretation of our nation. Citizens learn to identify with their nation in several ways from singing anthems, honoring calendar holidays such as Memorial Day and 4th of July which in all illustrate to us how to love our beautiful country even to the point of willing to kill for a nation.