As host of the 2006 soccer World Cup in June and July 2006, Germany was suddenly full of different Germans, waving millions of black-red-gold mini flags and wearing their (and others') national colors with abandon. Was this show of nationalism a new kind of trans/national patriotism? Most certainly, the national enthusiasm exhibited in Germany had nothing whatsoever to do with past demonstrations of patriotism. With the focus on the country as host to world soccer aficionados, the world also learned of a multicultural Germany that has existed for the last fifty years or so. It learned that it is not always successful with its social and economic problems, and that the desire for national unity is sometimes difficult to fulfill. Quite correctly, the national media described Germany as joyous, generous, and open-minded hosts. In the foreign press, too, the old stereotypes were broken down.
The author provides a historical analysis of the use of gender metaphors in republican discourse, chiefly the representation of the republic as a father (patria) and as a mother (matria). Both metaphors are present throughout the history of Western political thought, from ancient Rome to the Modern Era. The text shows that their use has profound implications in the way citizenship is conceived and loyalty to the republic can be justified. Finally, the text also identifies a third republican metaphor, fraternity, which has been mostly neglected by republican thought, with few important exceptions. The author concludes by exploring the normative and theoretical possibilities opened up by substituting fraternity for the gendered metaphors.