The obvious response to this would be to outlaw the American flag

Or at least that would be the response I would expect from the Left.

Yesterday the journal Psychological Science published a paper (abstract here, original here*) that demonstrates:


the mere sight of the American flag can subtly shift their political views… towards Republicanism.  It’s an effect that holds in both Democrats and Republicans, it affects actual votes, and it lasts for at least 8 months.

This is a fascinating finding in and of itself, but even more so considering the other recent study that showed

that July 4th parades energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans, and help to boost the GOP turnout of adults on Election Day.

So apparently, patriotism is a Republican thing.  (Go ahead now, lefties, get all frothed up).

The flag study is particularly interesting because of the duration of the effect – the influence upon the flag “viewer” can last up to eight months.

From the study:

In contrast to people’s beliefs, we report two experiments showing that the American flag introduces a bias toward the Republican Party over the Democratic Party.  A single exposure to a small American flag while participants were deliberating about their voting intentions prior to a general election led to significant and robust changes in participants’ voting intentions, voting behavior, and political attitudes, all in the politically conservative direction.  In a separate experiment, we replicated these patterns over a year into a Democratic presidential administration.

We also tested the longevity of this priming effect on judgment and attitudes.  Flag priming effects may be especially potent if they occur while a person is consciously deliberating about politics and voting intentions.  We exposed people to the American flag once during such an arguably critical psychological window, and found that the effects from this single exposure lasted up to 8 months later.  This represents one of the most durable priming effects in the cognitive sciences literature, and shows that contextual effects can not only impact important political decisions, but can also have a robust and long-lasting influence.


This pretty much explains the whole flag-burning thing on the part of the Left.  There must be some sort of deep-seated hatred for a symbol that reminds them that their beliefs are just wrong.

My next-door neighbor is a hard-core lefty.  I’ll be putting out my flag today.


* – By the way, if you have trouble accessing the original paper, Aaron Swartz can probably help you find it


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