Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism

Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism

Americans honor the flag with a fervor seen in few other countries: The Stars and Stripes decorate American homes and businesses; wave over sports events and funerals; and embellish everything from politicians’ lapels to the surface of the moon.

But what does the flag mean? In Capture the Flag, historian Woden Teachout reveals that it has held vastly different meanings over time. It has been claimed by both the right and left; by racists and revolutionaries; by immigrants and nativists. In tracing the political history of the flag from its origins in the American Revolution through the present day, Teachout demonstrates that the shifting symbolism of the flag reveals a broader shift in the definition of American patriotism.

A story of a nation in search of itself, Capture the Flag offers a probing account of the flag that has become America’s icon.

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