This paper develops some earlier studies (Croft and Skinner....) where we examined the analogous role of a mythical figure (St George) in the elaboration of a national narrative or 'brand'. We found that St George appeared to fail on several levels as a national icon. One of the problem areas was the the dragon motiff: from the 13th century onwards, St George motifs invariably included the slaying of a mythical beast. Yet despite the obvious religious and chivalric attractions in medieval times, the combination of George and dragon continued successfully in enlightenment England and (with several 'brand revivals') right up to the late 20th century,encompassing periods of fundamental social, economic and political change. Our question is how can it be that something so clearly associated with evil could in turn stand in for a set of intangible values around a national brand? One has to remember that the cultural rehabilitation of the dragon is a comparatively recent phenomenon, starting perhaps in the late 19th century with Kenneth Graham's whimsical novel The Reluctant Dragon. Since that time the dragon has almost totally been transformed into a figure of power and good, culminating in its 21st century popular depiction in the Harry Potter phenomenon, in numerous Disney treatments and in the popular Eragon series. This study examines the symbolic, semiotic and cultural strands of the dragon legend in an attempt to identify how something carrying such a complex of contradictory meaning can make any sense to 21st century audiences when it is at the centre of the communication of a national brand.
|Title of host publication||N/A|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Apr 2012|
|Event|| 17th International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communications, ‘Past, Present, Future - Shaping Corporate and Marketing Communications’ - Brittany, France|
Duration: 19 Apr 2012 → 20 Apr 2012
|Conference||17th International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communications, ‘Past, Present, Future - Shaping Corporate and Marketing Communications’|
|Period||19/04/12 → 20/04/12|
- national brand