The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban
substitute

Mark Twain on the Flag and Foreign Wars

Twain had declared the American Flag polluted by the new imperial adventures in the Philippines, and had come in for a load of criticism. Here was his response.

The Flag Is Not Polluted [1901]

I am not finding fault with this use of our flag; for in order not to seem eccentric I have swung around, now, and joined the nation in the conviction that nothing can sully a flag. I was not properly reared, and had the illusion that a flag was a thing which must be sacredly guarded against shameful uses and unclean contacts, lest it suffer pollution; and so when it was sent out to the Philippines to float over a wanton war and a robbing expedition I supposed it was polluted, and in an ignorant moment I said so. But I stand corrected. I concede and acknowledge that it was only the government that sent it on such an errand that was polluted. Let us compromise on that. I am glad to have it that way. For our flag could not well stand pollution, never having been used to it, but it is different with the administration.
Tags: americana, history, imperialism, mark twain, pacifism, patriotism, politics, war
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