Flag Pin Patriotism: Is This All That's Left?

America's hyper-patriotism, especially in the context of politics and political campaigns, is already disturbing enough in how it threatens to undermine discussions about real issues and real patriotism, but the people responsible for it are determined to make things worse through a excessive focus on mere symbols of hyper-patriotism. It's thus no longer enough to emphatically profess that you love America in every other sentence: unless you're doing it while wearing a tiny flag pin, your patriotism must be questioned or even rejected.

Why is there so much emphasis on professions of patriotism in the first place? To get an idea of what I'm talking about, just take a look around at the signs used by political candidates. Can you find even one official sign, button, or poster that doesn't use the colors red, white, and blue — preferably arranged in a way to remind viewers of the American flag? This wouldn't make any sense in a rational, adult society.

This sort of behavior isn't the norm. Political parties in Germany, for example, have their own signature colors and use them in their advertising and propaganda materials. No one feels any need to emblazon the German flag all over their posters, and I don't think you'll find such behavior in other European nations. No one questions the general patriotic feelings of political candidates — they differ on what they think is best for their country, not in wanting the best for their country.


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