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Journal Article: BibTeX citation key:  Hopkins2008
ANTONY G. HOPKINS. 2008. Rethinking Decolonization. Past and Present 200.1. 211–247.
Added by: sashi 2012-05-16 19:33:05
Categories: history
Keywords: db***, db.04, decolonisation biblio
Creators: Hopkins
Collection: Past and Present

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The moment of decolonization is recorded by dates and signalled by ceremony: the guard, political as well as military, is changed; anthems are composed; flags are redesigned. When Malaya became independent in 1957, the national anthem, ‘My Country’, was adopted in the same year, and a new national flag was hoisted in 1963.1 When Nigeria became independent in 1960, the national anthem, ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’, was composed for the occasion and the national flag was flown for the first time.2 Similarly, when Jamaica gained independence in 1962, a new national anthem, ‘Jamaica, Land We Love’, was adopted, as was the national flag. These examples are just a few of many that could be cited. But no purpose is served by adding to the list because the point they make already has an accepted, if also a minor, part in the historiography of decolonization.

It is more interesting and also surprising, even for scholars who specialize in imperial history, to discover that a similar process was under way elsewhere in the empire-Commonwealth. Canada's national flag replaced the Union Jack in 1965 and a national anthem, ‘O Canada’, was adopted in 1980. Canada's experience was far from being an oddity. Australia's national flag was approved even earlier, in 1954, though ‘Advance Australia Fair’ did not replace ‘God Save the Queen’ until 1984.3 ‘God Defend New Zealand’ achieved equal status with ‘God Save the Queen’ in 1977, and thereafter began to supplant it; New Zealand's flag still retains its Union Jack quarter, but pressure to remove it has grown in recent decades.4 South Africa exchanged ‘God Save the Queen’ for ‘The Call of South Africa’ in 1957; the national flag, amended in 1928 to minimize the space allocated to the Union Jack, continued to fly until 1994, but …
Added by: sashi

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