By H. Fuller
Ghana has continuously held a place of primacy within the African political and ancient mind's eye, due in no small half to the indelible influence left president Kwame Nkrumah. This research examines the symbolic options he used to build the Ghanaian country via foreign money, stamps, museums, flags, and different public icons.
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Additional resources for Building the Ghanaian Nation-State: Kwame Nkrumah’s Symbolic Nationalism
Therefore, he had to look mainly (though not exclusively) outside of his own territorial and continental boundaries for cues. From his studies of the African, Asian, and European past, his readings of socialist and capitalist literature, and his time spent in Britain and the United States, Nkrumah came to gain an adequate understanding of how nation-states were constructed, symbolically. He studied the design and symbolism of the “Union Jack” and “Old Glory,” and listened to the lyrics of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Save 22 BUILDING THE GHANAIAN NATIONSTATE the Queen,” which gave him ideas on how he wanted “God Save Our Homeland Ghana” to be composed.
50 The iconography of the new Ghanaian pounds, shillings, and pence emphasized the natural resources, cash crops such as cocoa and timber, as well as development schemes such as the Volta River Project, which were vital to the economic health of the new nation-state. Chapter 4 reveals that the establishment of a sovereign Ghanaian currency after independence created tensions with the outgoing British colonial officials and traditional leaders in Ghana. This was mainly due to Nkrumah’s use of money as a form of mass media to build a Ghanaian imagined community.
13 She argues further that the types of symbols developed and the complexity of their design and messaging is determined by the geopolitical status of the country in question in world affairs. ” The core nations, which mainly comprise Europe and North America, have tended to develop symbols “using basic syntactic structures,” given that they are at the top of the political and industrial food chain and do not require intricate symbols to project their national power. ”14 However, Cerulo insists, “semiperiphery and periphery nations tend to overcompensate for the weak implantation of power with dense, information-laden representations of their national identity.
Building the Ghanaian Nation-State: Kwame Nkrumah’s Symbolic Nationalism by H. Fuller