Any visitor to the United-States in the last decade or so, would notice that it was impossible to escape an image of the Americam-flag during daylight-hours. I once had the audacity to ask about this flag-waving, and the common-response? - "Because everyone-else does it". Wrong answer! It should have been, "Because I am a patriot".
Hence, the next question is, "If patriotism is a natural expression of pride in one's country and its ideals, why is it necessary to sell it so hard?". There now seems to be a real disconnect between the flag-waving and what it really means. The most cynical-conclusion could be that it is used to obscure any logical-assessment and debate about issues of national-conscience. Did I get it wrong?