The Edinburgh 1970 British Commonwealth Games: representations of identities, nationalism and politics

Fiona Skillen, Matthew McDowell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper examines the 1970 British Commonwealth Games, held in Edinburgh. It discusses the marketing, ceremonial presentation, and iconography of an event dubbed ‘the Friendly Games’ by Prince Philip, but one that nevertheless had its share of boycott threats and political intrigue. The iconography of these events is placed within the context of Scottish national and political identity, as the presentation of the event – controversially, in some quarters – utilised Balmoral-esque ‘Scottish’ tropes, including tartan Scottish team uniforms, and the copious use of ‘Scottish’ music, imagery and literature in the media and ceremonial elements of the Games. It examines the marketing of the 1970 Games, inclusive of: sponsorship and advertising, the creation of a mascot and logo, and songs. The ceremonial elements of the competition, including the participation of the royal family, opening and closing ceremonies, stamps and medals, and the arrangements surrounding these events and objects are considered. This piece also briefly examines the context of Scottish/British domestic politics, as well as wider contemporary tensions related to ex-Empire nations' participation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)454-475
    Number of pages22
    JournalSport in History
    Volume34
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • history
    • British Commonwealth Games
    • Edinburgh
    • political identity
    • national identity
    • competition

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