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Flags, identity, memory : Critiquing the Public Narrative through Color


Flags, identity, memory : Critiquing the Public Narrative through Color



In our project, the identification of “identity” employs culturally specific color codes and images that conceal assumptions about members of a people comprising a nation, or a people within a nation. Flags narrate constructions of belonging that become tethered to negotiations for power and resistance over time and throughout a people’s history. Bennet (2005) defines identity as “the imagined sameness of a person or social group at all times and in all circumstances”. While such likeness may be imagined or even perpetuated, the idea of sameness may be socially, politically, culturally, and historically contested to reveal competing pasts and presents. Visually evocative and ideologically representative, flags are recognized symbols fusing color with meaning that prescribe a story of unity. Yet, through semiotic confrontation, there may be different paths leading to different truths and applications of significance.
Knowing this and their function, we should investigate these transmitted values over time and space. Indeed, flags may have evolved inkey historical periods, but contemporaneaously transpire in a variety of ways. We should therefore investigate these transmitted values : Which values a

re being transmitted ? Have their colors evolved through space and time ? Is there a shift in cultural and/or collective meaning from one space to another ? What are their sources ? What is the relationship between law and flags in their visual representations ? What is the shared collective and/or cultural memory beyond this visual representation ? Considering the complexity and diversity in the building of a common memory with flags, we would suggest our contributors interrogate the complex color-coded sign system of particular flags and their meanings attentive to a complex configuration of historical, social and cultural conditions that shift over time.




7 February


8h30 : Registration

9h00 : Opening speech
Anne Wagner, Associate Professor, CRDP Lille 2, France. Transmission of Values : Power, Transgression and/or Resistance

9h30 : Religious Flags : Genesis, Myth, Ideology, and Controversy
Massimo Leone – Professor, University of Turin, Italy

10h00 : Question time

10h10 : Depicting the colour of the wind. Notes on symbols and fetishes that represent our heritage and hope
Claudius Messner, Professore Associato, Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Scienze Giuridiche, Italy

10h40 : Question time

10h50 : The Politics and History of Grey : Jasper Johns’s American Flags
Frances Guerin, Kent School of Arts, UK

12h10 : Question time

11h30 : Colors Like Words : From Seme to Digit
Jan M. Broekman, Emeritus Law Professor, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, USA

12h00 : Question time




14h00 : National Flags, Transnational Identity, and the Past/Future of the Nation-State
Johnny Alam, Artist and Researcher, Montreal, Canada

14h30 : Question time

14h40 : Bangladesh : the flag, its colours, national identity and the dialectics of struggle and protest
Wayne Morrisson, Law Professor, Queen Mary University of London, UK

15h10 : Question time

15h20 : Tea Break

15h30 : Flag of Compassion AND Roundtables with all the participants
Rini Hurkmans, visual artist, The Netherlands

17h30 : End


8 February


8h30 : Belonging-together : Thinking Togetherness
Ida Petretta, doctoral researcher, Southampton Law School, University of Southampton – UK

9h00 : Question time

9h10 : Scotland and the Saltire : Symbol of a nation carved in the clouds
James MacLean, Associate Professor, University of Southampton, UK

9h40 : Question time

9h50 : Flags – The Agents of the Past in the 21st Century : Law, Identity, Collective Memory
Miroslaw M. Sadowski, LL.M student, University of Wroclaw, Poland

10h20 : Question time

10h30 : Tea Break

10H40 : Being different, feeling similar. Some remarks on colors and politics
Angela Condello, Associate Professor, Roma III University, Italy

11h10 : Question time

11h20 : Le drapeau dans l’histoire constitutionnelle française
Pierre-André Lecocq, Professeur émérite, CRDP – Lille 2, France

11h50 : Question time




14h00 : Flags, Identity, Memory : from nationalisms to the post-truth uses of collective symbols
Kristian Bankov, Professor, New Bulgarian University, Bulgary

14h30 : Question time

14h40 : Semiotic Notions of Development and the National Flag : A Case Study of “Our National Flag”
Otun Ismaila Rasheed Adedoyin – PostDoctoral Researcher, University of Lagos - Nigeria & University of Louisville – USA

15h10 : Question time

15h20 : Tea Break

15h30 : Flags in Hungary : A Natural History
Miklos Konczol, Associate Professor, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Department of Legal Philosophy, and Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungary

16h00 : Question time

16h10 : “Rechte Räume” – Right-wing activism in Germany building up its own collective memory beginning with the occupation of architecture
Teresa Retzer, student, University of Vienna, Austria

16h40 : End


9 February


8h30 : Between Sweden and Russia – the history of the Finnish Blue Cross Flag from the legal and political perspective
Laura Ervo, Professor, The Örebro University, Sweden

9h00 : Question time

9h10 : Our Divided-Shared Semiotic Colour Emotions on the Flags of South Korea, North Korea, and Korea Unification
Hee Sook Lee-Niinioja, Ph.D., Independent scholar, Helsinki, Finland

9h40 : Question time

9h50 : What’s in a flag ? A Visual Rhetorical Analysis of Islamic State’s Use of the Shahada
Terry Royce, Associate Professor, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

10h20 : Question time

Tea Break

10H30 : Historically conditioned identity protection in Poland
Aleksandra Matulewska, Professor, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

11h00 : Question time

11h10 : Flag Regimes, Nationality Types and Law’s « Place » : The exemplum of the actual Portuguese Flag
José Manuel Aroso Linhares, Professor, Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

11h40 : Question time




14h00 : Flags and their Public Life in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (Law, Art, and Ritual)
Pascale Rihouet, Senior Lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design, USA

14h30 : Question time

14h40 : The Large Glass by Marcel Duchamp as an allegory of the French Flag during WWI and the dominance of the colour of mud
Christine Vial Kayser, French art historian, Associate researcher with CREOPS (Paris IV – Sorbonne) and Hicsa (Paris 1) and Museum curator

15h10 : Question time

15h20 : Tea Break

16h00 : Under the Black Flag : Piracy in the Construction of Nations
Helen Pringle, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales, Sydney – Australia

16h30 : Question time

16h40 : Closing Speech



Inscription/Registration International Conference :
One-day registration covers entry to the event, coffee and tea breaks :
February 7, 2018 : 35 € - February 8, 2018 : 35 € - February 9, 2018 : 35 €
One-day registration does not include lunch :
Lunch, February 7, 2018 : 30 € - Lunch, February 8, 2018 : 30 € - Lunch February 9, 2018 : 30 €

A conference led by Anne Wagner, Associate Professor, CRDP, University of Lille

Faculté des sciences juridiques, politiques et sociales
Amphi René Cassin
1 place Déliot
59000 Lille

Université Lille 2 - Droit et Santé
Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Politiques et Sociales
Centre de Recherche Droits et Perspectives du Droit
Equipe René Demogue
Conférence des Doyens
Université numérique juridique Francophone
Avec le soutien de l'Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques
Avec le soutien du Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l'Innovation.
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