Publication Date

Spring 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Journalism and Mass Communications


Scott Fosdick


der spiegel, german national identity, german patriotism, germany, magazine covers, visual framing

Subject Areas

Mass Communications; Journalism


This thesis studied how Der Spiegel, a news magazine in Germany, visually framed images of German patriotism and national identity on its front covers between 1947 and 2009. This study specifically examined whether the covers showed an increase in symbols of patriotism and national identity following four major events in Germany. The events included: the building of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, the adoption of the Euro, and the 2006 World Cup. A framing analysis of the covers showed that there was an increase in symbols of national identity across each of these four events. However, based on the statistical results, there was no gradual increase in patriotism symbols on the covers of Der Spiegel across the events. The results also revealed that there was a greater number of patriotism and national identity symbols after three out of the four events than before the events. There was an exception with the adoption of the Euro, which had more symbols before the event versus after the event. Der Spiegel covers were coded for five symbols of patriotism and national identity: political figures, the German flag, Germany's national colors, the coat of arms, and symbols categorized as other. Of these symbols, political figures were most commonly used on the covers across the four events.