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The Prospect editorial—Put out more flags

The power of nationalism is rivalled only by its danger

By Tom Clark  

We learned this spring that a version of British Rail is coming back, but this time rebranded Great British Railways. This might sound like it signals a national nervous breakdown, but it has rarely been wise to bet against self-aggrandising patriotism. Time and again, history has shown that the nation trumps everything. Faith, social solidarity and revolutionary principles struggle to compete with the rallying power of the flag. Under assault from Nazi Germany, even Stalin felt obliged to tone down the Bolshevik rhetoric and turn up the talk of a Great Patriotic War. We might wonder at why the…

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