Red Flag and Union Jack: Englishness, Patriotism and the British Left, 1881-1924


Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


It is generally assumed that the language of patriotism and national identity belongs to the political right, but the emergence of socialism in the 1880s shows clearly that the left also drew on such ideas in its formative years to legitimate a particular form of socialism, one presented as a restoration of an English past lost to industrial capitalism. The First World War dealt a severe blow to this radical patriotism: though the anti-war left continued to use radical patriotic language in the early years, the war degraded patriotism generally, while the Russian Revolution gave internationalism a new focus, and also threatened the dominant concept of British socialism. Moderate Labour sought to prove their fitness to govern, and concentrated on the `national interest' rather than oppositional Englishness, while the left of the movement looked to Soviet Russia rather than the English past for models for a future socialist society.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWoodbridge
PublisherBoydell & Brewer
Number of pages240
ISBN (Print)9781843836360
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2011

Publication series

NameRoyal Historical Society Studies in History


  • Englishness
  • Labour history
  • Patriotism


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