Banal nationalism for breakfast

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    Signage not only appears in public space. Through our consumption of all kinds of products, we bring a multiplicity of signs into our homes. In this slide show, I’ve assembled images of a range of breakfast foods: cornflakes, yoghurt, bagels, cheese, apple juice, and a cup of tea. The packaging tells us what kind of food we have in front of us and also some nutritional information. However, beyond that factual information they are graced with national imagery. The Australian flag appears on the cornflakes box, the cheese slices and the apple juice; an outline of the Australian map appears on the yoghurt lid and the bagel tag (the tag itself was attached to a plastic bag with bagels in it); the national green-yellow color scheme appears on the back of the juice bottle; and the back of the cornflakes box and the tea mug are overloaded with national icons such as the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef or Ned Kelly. For those who still don’t get it, the words “Australian” or “Aussie” are displayed prominently on each product.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
    PublisherLanguage on the move
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2010

    Bibliographical note

    © 2018 Language on the Move. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
    • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)


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