Introduction

This is a copy of the introduction from U.S. Symbols.

This is probably the strangest book about America’s national symbols ever published.

For starters, most people who write about such things write with stars in their eyes. They respect the national flag and what it stands for, happily saluting it as they stand for the national anthem. They respect their government. They support the troops. They respect Wall Street and Bill Gates, no questions asked.

Not me. I’d rather burn the U.S. flag than salute it, and I don’t stand for The Star-Spangled Yawner. Moreover, I think the kook who minted the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” should have been executed along with America’s slave owners and Indian fighters, which include George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

This book will give right-wingers a heart attack. It will probably give most American liberals a heart attack as well. It’s written primarily for the 1% of U.S. citizens who aren’t hopelessly brainwashed and are capable of rational thought. It you’re a typical American dumbass, you may still find this book a useful reference, but most of what I have to say will likely turn your stomach.

And so, without further adieu, let me offer some more comments on this book . . .

Focus ˆ

A book about U.S. national symbols may sound a little lightweight. How can anyone write an entire book about the national flag, national anthem, and the bald eagle? (Actually, I came up with a list of 13 core symbols, but the stories behind some of them are pretty short.) And how could such a book possibly be of any interest when our national symbols have been documented in countless books, articles, and websites? How could a writer find anything new to say about them?

In fact, most books about “American symbols” are pretty much limited to a handful of more familiar symbols, like the American flag and the Statue of Liberty. (On the other hand, enough has been written about the American flag to fill an encyclopedia.) In addition, they typically don’t go into much detail, and they seldom delve into topics like psychology or ethics. Saying anything negative about our national symbols is taboo, and you don’t have to push the envelope too far before your book will be effectively banned.

In fact, my book is so damn truthful, provocative, and unconventional, it would probably be dead on arrival. So, I decided not to market it through Amazon or other commercial resellers. What’s the point, when they would almost certainly ban the book and possibly ban all my other books to boot? (Anyone who thinks free speech still rules is a fool.)

This books explores those 12 or 13 symbols that have been officially designated symbols, along with a number of prominent unofficial symbols (and a few historic symbols to boot). It also embraces more esoteric topics like patriotism and philosophy.

Style ˆ

By now, you’ve surely noticed that I’m not like other writers who hide behind a veil of phony civility. I use terms like “pResident” and “media whore,” and I occasionally use the A-word and the F-word. (I might use both if I’m talking about Bill Gates or Hillary Clinton.)

Needless to say, many people have criticized me for my perceived hostility, lack of civility, and utter disregard for the conventions normal people follow. The problem is, I’m not “normal.” In other words, I’m not stupid or spineless. I cannot say I haven’t been brainwashed, because it’s virtually impossible to escape the propaganda that saturates our lives from cradle to grave. However, I was less affected by it than most people, for reasons I discuss at DavidBlomstrom.com. At the same time, I’ve worked hard to purge my mind of the bullshit an army of propagandists did manage to plant there.

In plain English, I speak and write the unvarnished truth, and if that truth looks tacky to you, you’re the one with a problem.

To learn more about my conventions and style, please visit my website DavidBlomstrom.com. Find the links at the top of the page and click on “Writing,” then choose “Writing Conventions” or “Civility.”

How bad are they? ˆ

By now you’re probably convinced that I’m not a big fan of the United States’ roster of symbols. But just how bad are they?

The best way to answer that is to take a look at the country they represent. No, I’m not talking about a bastion of freedom that shines as the world’s brightest democracy and a portal to the American dream. I’m talking about the real America, which is a corporate shithole.

In stark contrast to many state flags, our national flag is competently designed. However, it’s drenched in blood. Who can sing our national anthem—the Star-Spangled Screamer—which was written by a slave owner? Why do we need two national mottoes, one of them a religious motto, when the original motto is among our most awesome symbols?

Why do we need a national oath? Our leaders are the ones who should swear an oath to the people they’re supposed to represent.

Our holidays are disgusting. Christmas is a capitalist event that begins on Black Friday. May Day and Labor Day have been hijacked by the very people who tried to prevent their adoption. Memorial Day and Veterans Day are mindless celebrations of pointless wars. Columbus Day commemorates one of history’s most genocidal monsters.

George Washington was an aristocratic Indian fighter and slave owner, and Abraham Lincoln may have been the worst pResident in U.S. history, whether he was a gay Jew or not.

Nevertheless, this book isn’s all negative. I really like our original national motto, and I believe there are a couple other symbols I said good things about, though I can’t recall which symbols they were at the moment.

After you finish this book, I hope you will burn an American flag, then send some good reviews my way.

Quiz Time! ˆ

Quizzes

Just for fun (and to make sure your brain is engaged), let’s take a couple of short quizzes.

Quiz I. Which of the following are true?

  1. The national anthem was written by a slave owner.
  2. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.
  3. The national march was historically known as “The Disaster March.”
  4. Mt. Rushmore celebrates four slave owners who never even visited the Dakota Territory.
  5. Burning a U.S. national flag is a violation of federal law.

Quiz II. Which of the following are conspiracy theories?

  1. Martin Luther Kind Day was adopted to divert attention from Malcolm X, who was considered more radical.
  2. The adoption of Labor Day.
  3. Henry Ford campaigned for the adoption of the square dance as the national dance because he hated black people.
  4. The claim that Abraham Lincoln was a gay Jew.
  5. The all-seeing eye depicted on the reverse of the Great Seal is a Masonic symbol.