“Waving Israeli Flags at Right-Wing Christian Rallies in South Korea” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2020.1723031) is a new article by Sarah Cho of the Department of Communication, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA and Juheon Lee of the Government and Law Department, Lafayette College, Easton, USA.
The abstract for the paper is as follows:
The impeachment of President Park Geun-hye and the ensuing shift to a liberal administration triggered massive far-right rallies in South Korea. The rally participants waved the South Korean flag to invoke their patriotism and the US flag to show their support for the Korean–USA alliance; however, a group of Protestant Christians at the front of pro-Park rallies waved Israeli flags, which was perplexing to non-participants. To explore why the Israeli flag was waved at the rallies, the study reported in this article examined video recordings of the Christian participants carrying Israeli flags. An analysis of the attendees’ spoken language, signs and edited captions reveals that the Israeli flag first symbolises ancient Israel in the Bible, from which stories and metaphors legitimise the Christians’ participation in the right-wing rallies. Second, the Israeli flag symbolises the modern State of Israel that was restored in 1948 together with the Republic of Korea, which supports right-wing ideology regarding the establishment of the first South Korean government. Finally, by waving the Israeli flag with the other two national flags, the flag wavers were attempting to make their Christian group identity salient without harming the right-wing identity of the rallies.