The aim of this research is to understand how images created and spread by the Argentine State from 1810 to 2008 have contributed to the definition of national identity.
This work considers that the Ideological State Apparatus creates dominant hegemonic ideologies as well as fixing certain sentiments in a given nation, producing thus its nationality. For that reason, the state uses the apparatus of cultural fictions which spreads designed symbolic fictions and images. This happens due the social importance of images and the social importance of the act of seeing, of representing, of interpreting, of imagining and of desiring as the sources that give power to images. But in order to do so, the state has to embody certain common content and to have the power to institutionalize that content. In addition, it needs a support, channels to spread nationality discourses through material culture such as public architecture, monuments, statues, the rosette, uniforms, banknotes, flag, shield and mass media. In this case, the focus of the analysis has been the flag, the shield and the banknotes.
In Argentina, there have been twelve Ideological State Apparatuses which expressed, by their images and objects, different national sentiments. The organizational dimension and the sentiments of sharing are the most common sentiments. Moreover, the proprietary and religious sentiments are more attached to the shield, while the sentiment of organization is more related to the flag.
As a general conclusion, it is possible to find four identities created by the Argentine state which are the European identity, Republican identity, Nationalist identity and worker’s identity. Furthermore, those identities projected four models of exclusive identities due to the symbolic absence of differences in their produced images, such as diversity of genre, physiognomies, ethnics, provinces and the lack of inclusion of some very popular democratic figures.