Posted by Kirsten Gibbs Last updated 31st March 2021 reading time
A written constitution is certainly open to interpretation (Who exactly are ‘We, the People’? What exactly does ‘Happiness’ mean?), but it does at least provide a tangible, concrete reference point for discussion, amendment and clarification. It is separate, both from the people who made it and the people interpreting it right now, a thing in its own right, and therefore capable of improvement. And at all times, citizens can compare the current culture with what that culture once aspired to be, as embodied on the constitution, and decide to act.
The unwritten is protean, slippery, even more open to interpretation, even exploitation. But what’s worse is that the culture that surrounds it can change beyond recognition without anyone really noticing. Until suddenly, the flag we’ve grown up with comes to stand for something rather disturbing.
Brands, whether national or corporate, are tokens of an underlying culture. If you want that culture to persist, it’s a good idea to write it down. An an even better idea to share it with everyone.