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A Flag Worth Dying for


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About the Author

Tim Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs with more than 30 years of reporting experience. He was diplomatic editor at Sky News, and before that was working for the BBC and LBC/IRN radio. He has reported from 40 countries and covered conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. He is the author of five books including the no.1 Sunday Times bestseller Prisoners of Geography; Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags; and Divided: Why We're Living in Age of Walls. He is the founder and editor of


"[Marshall] writes with the cool drollery that characterized the work of Christopher Hitchens or Simon Winchester. He tackles a topic that many people take seriously without taking himself seriously, and the result is a book that explains where many of the flags that capture the world's imagination come from and why." --USA Today
"Country by country the author considers the great diversity of the world's flags, serving up with offhand affection a lively text full of interesting anecdotes and telling details. A treasure vault for vexillologists, full of meaning beyond the hue and thread of the world's banners."
--Kirkus Reviews
"A fascinating tour of the world's ensigns, their histories and meanings...a sobering lesson in just how silly we human beings can be."
--Daily Mail

"Bristling with historical trivia and commentary on current events, this entertaining survey of vexillology, the study of flags, examines the banners of more than eighty-five nations, as well as those of the Islamic State, the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and pirates." --The New Yorker
"In this brisk, entertaining read, Marshall successfully answers a puzzling question: how can a simple piece of cloth come to mean so much? Marshall presents an informative survey of these highly visible symbols of national or international pride."
--Publishers Weekly
"Insightful and entertaining ... a truly fascinating book that feels all the more considered and urgent in today's world of Brexit, Trump, China and ISIS."
--Wanderlust magazine (UK)

"Marshall points out that we often forget the aggressive symbolism of established flags ... [they] are a quick, visual way of communicating loyalties, power and ideas."
--The Times (UK)
"A must read for anyone wishing to grasp the meanings behind today's international affairs."
--Human Security Centre (UK)
"Marshall has drawn on 25 years as a reporter in 40 countries to produce an engagingly written, veritable page-turner. Whether the topic is ethnic identity, Japanese imperialism, Panamanian shipping law or the defeat of Nazism, flags speak volumes about our human condition."
--The Jewish Chronicle
"An entertaining whistle-stop tour of world flags " --Library Journal
"Marshall oscillates between telling the story of the way flags unite us and the way they divide us. He is acutely aware that they often do both at the same time, and it is this tension that brings out his most illuminating writing." --New York Times Book Review

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