The Complete Guide to National Symbols and Emblems
by James Minahan
December 2009, 977pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34496-1
$201, £155, 175€, A276
eBook Available: 978-0-313-34497-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Think of the raising of the Stars and Stripes at Iwo Jima, the Tricolore that proclaimed the French Revolution, the Euro as the standard of a united Europe. Symbols matter. They can rally a people, proclaim values—or rank as a propagandist’s most valuable tool.

These two volumes offer an unprecedented collection of flags, seals, and symbols used every day around the world.

In today’s global society it is necessary to recognize and identify not only our own symbols, but symbols from nations and territories far removed from home. Empowering readers to identify symbols in daily use all over the world, The Complete Guide to National Symbols and Emblems features an extensive collection of international symbols and cultural emblems never before compiled in such a concise and easy-to-use work. It is inclusive of all the UN member states and some of the most prominent stateless nations.

This refreshing alternative to other commonly used sites blends both the political and cultural, including not only flags, national seals, and national anthems, but also foods and recipes, national heroes, sports teams, festivals, and pivotal events that figure in the formation of national identity. This versatile source will prove valuable to a wide audience, benefiting not only high school and undergraduate student researchers, but international businesses, journalists, and government offices.


  • Entries are organized by region and then alphabetically by country
  • An extensive print and nonprint bibliography directs students to sources for further research
James Minahan has written a number of reference books on international statehood and identity, including The Former Soviet Union's Diverse Peoples and Greenwood's Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations, One Europe, Many Nations, and Miniature Empires.


"This set is an impressive compilation of material that should be quite useful for anyone looking for current information about flags, anthems, athletic teams, cuisines, and such. . . . the work is filled with useful ready-reference information and is recommended for academic and public libraries."—Booklist, May 15, 2010

"...handy ready-reference resource...This set will be useful for country reports, and the details about national heroes will serve as a springboard to compare the traits that are valued in different locations."—School Library Journal, June 1, 2010

"This is a well-produced set, with a section in each volume for color illustrations of national flags and coats of arms. Summing Up: Recommended. Especially for larger collections; lower-level undergraduates and above, and general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2010
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