Stop using the American flag to fan the flames of virulent nationalism

July 4, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More

Howard Zinn, writing at Alternet: 

On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? . . .

And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail in 2004 that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

Zinn is the author of A People’s History of the United States.


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Category: Good and Evil, History, Politics, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    This post reminds me of my own puzzlement over American nationalism (indeed, any person's nationalism) — an issue I wrote about in this post (, in which I questioned why Americans derive pride merely from the accident of where they were born. True, different nations have different rules, but, fundamentally, nations are little more than arbitrary lines on the ground that designate different groups of people who happen to live by different rules — each group merely running a different experiment in how to live together. Why one national group should be "proud" of itself, especially when its current occupants had virtually no role in creating the rules of that nation, and when its experiment is not yet over, strikes me as absurd in the extreme.

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