In this essay, I will discuss the importance and meaning of the flags of the world’s superpowers. I will also connect the relevance of their flags in respect to how well the countries have globalized. After this, I will discuss the flags of important organizations and movements and how they relate to globalization. Lastly, I will discuss how the usage of flags, in relation to globalization, impacts our lives.
Flags are important to the identity of the countries and people they represent. Many flags reference their histories and what they went through to become free, which hold great importance to the people. Not only this, but the level of recognition of one’s flag can be an indicator of how well a country has globalized. As the most powerful nation in the world, nearly everyone recognizes the flag of the United States, suggesting the United States has excelled at globalizing. Though many people assume a country’s flag is simply a combination of colors, it is really a brief synopsis of a country’s history and values. However, the world’s most influential countries have the tendency to be the most widely recognized. Countries are not the only ones who employ flags to gain worldwide influence, companies and movements also use flags for this purpose.
The flags of The United States, Russia, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom are all easily recognizable, and they also happen to be the top five super powers in modern world. As most people know, the American flag consists of 13 stripes of red and white to represent the original 13 colonies and 50 white stars for the current 50 states. The United States, the world’s biggest ‘superpower’ and a massive supporter of globalization. With massive corporations like Walmart, the United States uses globalization to mass produce products for lower prices. Through trade and outsourcing, the United States’ influence in businesses and economies around the world is unlike any other country. Through globalization, the United States has changed the way businesses operate.
There are many multinational corporations that began in the United States, including McDonalds which began in San Bernardino, California. The Russian flag features white which represents liberty, blue which represents loyalty, and scarlet which represents courage. Russia’s worldwide influence stems from their strong economy, influence in the UN Security Council, and their large military. Russia, though highly controversial, was able to have such an impact on the Ukraine conflict because of globalization. The Chinese flag has a red background with 5 stars in the upper left corner, the red represents communism, the large star represents the government, and the smaller 4 stars represent the unity of the chinese people. As the leader in exports, China’s influence is undeniable. Marked by the Chinese flag placed on their many exports, the Chinese have excelled at globalizing their economy through exporting.
The German flag has changed multiple times throughout history, but its current colors represent freedom and unity. Germany’s economy is one of the strongest in the world, and because of this are one of the largest exporters in the world. Not only this, but their influence regarding global security is irrefutable. The United Kingdom’s flag is slightly more extensive. Challenged with representing three separate countries, the ‘union jack’ has a deep and complex meaning. The flag features St. George’s Cross to represent England, St. Andrew’s Cross for Scotland, and St. Patrick’s Cross for Ireland. The flag of the United Kingdom is featured on many flags throughout the world. England colonized and conquered many countries, and thus had a great influence on how these countries developed and even how they run to this day. By featuring the ‘union jack’ on their flags, it demonstrates the impact England had around the world. These countries all hold a great deal of influence in what happens globally, whether it be through trade, the United Nations, their military force, or because of the influence of their economy.
Not only do flags represent countries and their histories, but many companies and movements have created their own flags as well. The LGBTQ+ movement has their own flag, which is easily recognizable. Despite cultural and physical differences, human beings are more similar than we are different, and sexuality is something common between us all. The LGBTQ+ flag is something that is used worldwide, and has influenced people around the globe, proving that a concept can also globalize. Major corporations have also attempted to use flags to further their influence. Corporations like the National Hockey League create and sell flags for each of their teams, and have even began hosting games in other countries in an attempt to gain a bigger audience. Similar to this, the olympic flag is also a worldwide symbol for unity through athletics. Seeing as the olympics is a competition open for countries around the world, and is hosted around the world, their global influence is undeniable. Another organization that has globalized is the red cross. Their goal is simple, to protect and help the lives of those in danger around the world. Because of globalization, these organizations have the opportunity to exist and help improve the world. What signifies that these organizations have exceeded at globalizing is the worldwide recognition of their flags.
The use of flags is vital to globalization. How easily someone can recognize a flag is an indicator of how well that entity has globalized, as this flag can send a message without even having to use words. Despite being overlooked by most people, flags have a great effect on one’s subconscious. When someone looks at an important flag, they immediately know what it stands for. The use of flags is an important marketing strategy, seeing as no matter what language someone speaks they can still understand what the flag represents. Globalization allows us to interact with other countries in ways that were previously impossible, and because of this we are able to learn and appreciate the history and values of other cultures. Flags were created to distinguish one country from another, it is possible that without globalization we would not use flags. Overall, the usage of flags is an important piece of globalization, and they enrich our understanding of other countries greatly.
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