The flag is not powerful in spite of its ambiguity; it is powerful because of its ambiguity. It has stood, at different times, for radical democracy, opposition to immigration, the abolition of slavery, unregulated capitalism, segregation, integration, and a hawkish war policy, among many other things.
Read a selection from the introduction of "Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism" by Woden Teachout
A winter wind swept across New York Harbor on a late after noon the day after Christmas in 1971. Tourists riding the last two ferries from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty huddled against the bulkheads, sheltering themselves from the gusts. Among the passengers were clusters of long-haired adults in well used army-surplus clothing, looking for all the world like hippies taking in the world-famous landmark. The mission of these fifteen men, however, went far beyond tourism.
Immediately upon docking at the island, the men performed a quick reconnaissance. They wedged open a few doors and then took refuge from sight; some crouched behind the massive supporting columns in the base of the statue. Some found storage closets and tucked themselves away......................Read Rest Here