American Notes: Flock to the Flagpole

Once, in a Norman Rockwell America, it was flown on Flag Day with what in retrospect seems a certain innocence, aspiration and uncomplicated pride. Too often now, the flag represents not one Nation, indivisible, but a code of the country's fractured ideologies. On this Flag Day, the nation seemed decorated by some astonishingly commercial Barbara Frietchie Associates.

It is not only policemen and construction workers who wrap themselves in bunting. Gold flag pins are selling briskly at Tiffany's, and at Manhattan's "21," the maitre d' determinedly passes out little enameled flags for the lapel. With entirely different intentions—a mockery...

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