The American flag further polarizes Democrats and Republicans.

By Seriously Science | July 3, 2017 11:48 am
Image: Flickr/Karsun Designs

Image: Flickr/Karsun Designs

Happy Fourth of July! If your town is anything like mine, you’re seeing American flags all over the place. And guess what? Those American flags aren’t just pretty decorations. Like many other symbolic icons, seeing an American flag can change how you feel. For example, it might make you feel patriotic. And, at least according to this study, seeing an American flag tends to make Republicans more Republican and Democrats more Democratic. The authors speculate that this is because that’s what being an American means to each of these political parties. Just what we need – more political polarization!

Exposure to the American flag polarizes democratic-republican ideologies.

“Some prior research has suggested that exposure to the American flag tilts Americans towards Republicanism, while others have proffered that it brings outs a common ‘together’ perspective instead. We explore a third possibility – that it may actually polarize Americans’ political ideology. It is generally accepted that exposure to an environmental cue can shift attitudes and behaviours, at least partly or temporarily, in a manner that is consistent with that cue. Yet, the same cue can mean different things to different people. In the same vein, given how national identity and political ideology are intertwined in the United States, we hypothesize that the American flag should heighten different political beliefs depending on individuals’ political ideology. To Democrats, being American is to support Democratic values, but to Republicans, being American is to support Republican values. The American flag thus should heighten Democrats of their Democratic identity, and it should heighten Republicans of their Republican one. The results of an experiment with 752 American respondents who were representative of the US population supported this polarizing effect of the American flag. The theoretical and policy implications of the findings are offered.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: politics schmolitics
  • OWilson

    Are there Democrats who feel uncomfortable with overt flag displays?

    Are there Republicans who feel uncomfortable with overt flag displays?

    Has the American flag (or any National flag) become a symbol of oppression for some?

    The “Study”, is rather brief and inconclusive and unfortunately doesn’t stray into any politically incorrect territory, but does throw out a hint that questions whether the flag itself is to blame for “politicizing” the populace!

    A flag can fill you with pride, it can also disconcert you. More information on which side of the political spectrum feels these opposing emotions would be useful!

    • Lisa Easterling Cofer

      well of course the flag is to blame for people feeling oppressed. it’s not likely “*they” will take responsibility for whatever situation they find themselves in, that makes them feel oppressed.
      *they* being anyone who feels oppressed by our flag, for whatever reason.
      **sarcasm intentional**

      • OWilson

        OK, enough of beating around the bush, we all know that American flag dissing, is generally the purview of the left.

        I have examples, but folks who read the daily papers, should not need me to post them! :)

        • Uncle Al

          The Five Progressive Principles (potlatch for the Deserving):

          1) Financial collapse.
          2) Commercial collapse.
          3) Political collapse.
          4) Social collapse.
          5) Cultural collapse.

          • Bob Ross

            Hi cretin.

          • John Sorg

            Sounds like you need your GED. You’re dumb.

  • Uncle Al

    Our flag embraces America. Hyphenated pußy-hats have no rights beyond citizens’. Go protest failure of reciprocal pro hac vice Mexican citizenship when smuggled south of the border.

    I abhor egregious fallibility of the Deep State, its leviathan bureaucracies, and its facile political sepsis. Build skyscrapers not Inner Cities. Wave our flag, eat the world.

    • Susan

      You sound like one of Alex Jones idiotic followers.

      • WTF_WorldTradeFederation

        He learned the words, he might as well use them so he can remember what they mean and maybe we can learn something new. Instead you lash out. Try a little tenderness

        • OWilson

          Some of us old timers remember the meaning of the words, before they were turned on us, by Orwellian progressive “newspeak”!

          “Gay” was an attitude, not a sex gender, “Discrimination” was a virtue which kept you alive and well, and not a racial prejudice. “Denier” was a fascist nazi follower, and not a scientist who questions failed climate models. “Invest” was something you did in the expectation of real results, not an excuse for politicians to throw taxpayer money at their pals, and voter base.

          I could go on, but why?

    • Georgius

      Somebody take away this guy’s thesaurus. Oh wait, the Byzantine circumambulations of the labyrinthine deep state will take care of it.

      • Uncle Al

        0) America is not merely words and symbols, it is perspectives. Youtube v=KKvvOFIHs4k
        I stand with Trump.
        1) You are not especially good at it, score and libretto.
        2) Traditional matriculation into an institution of higher education required demonstrated ability to read and write English. Today, any frumious whackadoodle obtains facilitated entry by revealing the blovating opposite.

    • Bob Ross

      An ostentatious display of the American flag allows me to immediately identify a Republican cretin each and every time.


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