These Should Be the End Times for American Patriotism

Exceptionalism has always been core to American patriotism, and American exceptionalism is no longer tenable.

Alice Butler-Short, a supporter of Virginia Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie displays her American flag shoes while she waits for poll results at the election night party at Embassy Suites hotel in Springfield, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Patriotism is the organising passion of modern political life in the United States yet its vitality defies obvious explanation. The country has no national education system. There’s neither compulsory military nor civil service. No government agency distributes the ubiquitous US flags, nor enforces observance of the rituals to country performed at

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Wrapped In The Flag, Trump Attacks Protests Emblematic Of American Freedom

Thanks to his “base’s” reflexive flag worship, Donald Trump was able to inflame an already fraught situation — bringing, as is his want, angry division and chaos in his wake, a chaos he apparently needs to thrive both personally and politically.

President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick exploded across national headlines in 2016 for his evolving, bended-knee protest against systemic racism and police brutality. Kneeling during the national anthem became a rallying point for athletes not just in professional football but in other sports and at other levels, including among high school

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Patriots And Protesters Should Take A Knee For The Constitution

It’s not anti-American to be anti-war or anti-police misconduct or anti-racial discrimination, but it is anti-American to be anti-freedom.

Buffalo Bills players kneel during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

By all means, let’s talk about patriotism and President Trump’s call for “respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem.” At a time when the American flag adorns everything from men’s boxers and women’s bikinis to beer koozies, bandannas and advertising billboards (with little

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How To Make People Respect The American Flag

Is it possible those showing disrespect to the flag just need to be educated about the symbolism?

Ferguson Nationwide Protests

The Fourth of July. The most American of days. If you left your home or scrolled your social media accounts, you undoubtedly saw disrespect towards the American flag. It isn’t a new expression of speech, but it is certainly more widespread today than in years past. So the question arises: how can you make people respect the flag? First, let’s

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Colin Kaepernick’s Black Lives Protest Met With Nationalistic Outrage

Militant nationalism, spurred at least in part by right wing populism, has become part and parcel of American consciousness.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the end of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Published in partnership with Shadowproof. American nationalism is arguably a breed all its own. It’s a kind of patriotic obsession that manages to force a thread of shame into its adherents so that, should they ever veer too far from its path, the crushing guilt will overwhelm them enough to bring them back. Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for

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Who Really Supports The Troops?

Who really supports the troops? Those who merely say they support them while refusing to criticize the militarism that imperils them, or those who vocally oppose militarism while trying to convince families, friends, neighbors, and total strangers to join them in opposition?

Retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jackie Powell, left, of Canton, Ga., gives some instruction on saluting to Boy Scout Logan Schell, 12, of Cumming, Ga., as they place flags at the graves of military service members ahead of the Memorial Day holiday at Georgia National Cemetery, Saturday, May 25, 2013, in Canton, Ga.

A huge sign outside a local tire store really irritated me a couple of weeks ago. Its large letters blared: "WE SUPPORT THE TROOPS." I was tempted to get out of the car and demand that the owner tell me what he was actually doing besides displaying the sign, which probably didn't cost much in money or effort. I suspected that posting the sign was

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