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Book Review: Tim Marshall’s ‘Worth Dying For – The Power and Politics of Flags’

Understanding the often conflicting cultures, politics, history and ethnicities of our modern world is a difficult matter. For many, flags are background noise, rarely registering in their daily lives and appearing to matter less in our modern age: here Marshall presents a refreshingly enlightening rationale for taking more note of their fluttering colours and symbols.

Taking the reader around the world, from some of the most well-known and widely used, to the newest and most colourful, this book provides a realistic and entertaining nod to shared cultures and histories that humanity shares. Providing sharp insights into how these symbols shape the realpolitik of today’s politics, conflicts and distrust, Marshall highlights how and why flags evoke such emotion through their use, or indeed their misuse.

In todays globalised and media savvy environment, the role of state and non-state symbols has become more important and in many cases more dangerous and evocative. This witty book brings to our attention this power, alongside the reality that we must not underestimate or misunderstand how the flags of our world came to be. A must read for anyone wishing to grasp the meanings behind todays international affairs.

Copies of the book can be bought at Waterstones and on Amazon

tim marshall flags

About the author (from Amazon)

Tim Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs with more than twenty-five years of reporting experience. He was diplomatic editor at Sky News, and before that was working for the BBC and LBC/IRN radio. He has reported from forty countries and covered conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics; “Dirty Northern B*st*rds!” and Other Tales from the Terraces: The Story of Britain’s Football Chants; and Shadowplay: The Overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic (a bestseller in former Yugoslavia). He has written for The Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Independent and Daily Telegraph, and his blog Foreign Matters was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2010. He is founder and editor of the current affairs site TheWhatandtheWhy.com.



About Emily Daglish

Emily is a Junior Fellow in the Policy Unit. She was previously with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and areas of research included non-state armed groups, post conflict transition, conflict mediation and counter terrorism.