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Jeffrey A. Tucker for

The Catholic Church in America in the 19th century would have never featured an American flag anywhere in sight. This trend began in World War I: the German parishes were pressured to show their loyalty to the state and its war.

The trend picked up steam in World War II, when the Italians too were suspected and so had to declare their loyalty. The flag issue became universal during the Cold War when everyone was expected to rally around the nation in its fight against its foreign adversaries.

But looking in back in time to the 18th century and before, to say nothing of the European middle ages and back before the invention of the very idea of the nation state, this entire project would have been completely unknown: the Church nowhere swears allegiance to the state and Christians ar

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