Human Statue of Liberty

This photo was taken around WW1 when 99.9% of the country was patriotic. My question would be, "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED"? It took 18000 men to pose for this. It was taken in Des Moines Iowa.


  • Patrick Byrne 8y

    While that picture is beautiful, I disagree with the sentiment that a loss of patriotism is a bad thing. The dictionary definition of patriotism is "love of and devotion to one's country". Throughout history, patriotism has often lead down a slippery slope to jingoism and xenophobia. I would like to think that I would be pro-freedom, pro-liberty, and pro-democracy regardless of the country I was born.

    I love America and feel very lucky to be born in a country that is, despite its imperfections, a wonderful place to live, full of freedom and opportunity. Were I born in Iran, I shudder to think that I would favor that system simply because I was born there, which is the silent implication of any pro-patriotism argument.
  • Jeff Weiss 8y

    Personally, I am not sad to see patriotism go. I agree with pbyrne.

    Patriotism is just a tool of government to perpetuate itself. I could care less if the American government fell apart, and a new country was formed with a new name, new symbols, and new rules - as long as the values stayed roughly the same, I'd be equally happy to live here.

    Of course, I could just move to one of at least a dozen countries where they have a different name, symbols, and rules, but roughly the same values.

    To paraphrase Chris Rock (and others, I'm sure): Why in the world should you be proud of being an American? Just because you came out of your mother's vagina and happened to hit American soil?

    Usually pride should be reserved for something you actually had some influence on. Be proud of your children, or some other local phenomenon you helped make happen. To be proud of a country to which you contribute a one three hundred millionth share, is pretty pathetic.
  • *cHARLIe 2112(^:* PRO 8y

    Geez guys, whatever. Who gives a damn. I think you are missing the point. Some people are probably way too patriotic. Other people are way too ANTI patriotic seems to me. What's wrong with having respect for your country? Almost every nationality has that much!
    If you don't like some things about your country then simply work at changing those things. But to actually HATE your country is a sad thing. WTF is that all about anyway?

    As far as the photo is concerned, I just thought it was a cool picture and don't even recall where I found it. I can't believe that this one picture draws so much attention to be honest about it.
  • c. f. doyle 8y

    i like this image.

    here's why:
    it is a feat on more than one level (organization, technology, communication), and can be enjoyed even by those who do not like what the image means to them.
    the fact that we as beings are able to come together on any level is admirable.

    i think turning this into a debate on the merits and evils of patriotism is a little much. yes you can love your country, no it's not always right.
  • Dan Willis 8y

    (note that it's 18,000 men, not 1800)
  • Neale 8y

    Thanks for posting this image, but I find the assertion that "99.9%" of the Country was "patriotic" in this era to be a little weird--as well as the implied idea that Americans are less patriotic today.

    I often feel and express patriotism but it has nothing to do with supporting a disastrous, illegal war that does nothing but harm our national security, and has put thousands of young Americans in early graves for little to no reason.
  • Nathan Huening 8y

    "I often feel and express patriotism but it has nothing to do with supporting a disastrous, illegal war that does nothing but harm our national security, and has put thousands of young Americans in early graves for little to no reason."

    Bingo. Let's be careful not to confuse a sane and healthy patriotism -- pride in one's unique cultural and/or national identity -- with ignorant, destructive nationalism, that breeds xenophobia and intolerance, exalts one nation or race above all others and which characterizes the U.S.'s current (and heartbreakingly disastrous) national foreign policy.
  • *cHARLIe 2112(^:* PRO 8y

    We have an all volunteer military. Those who serve do so at their own free will. Their decision and their sacrifice should be honored. In their opinion they have SACRIFICED for more than just a whim. They do so for their country and their countrymen. They are patriots.
  • smackfu PRO 8y

    Interestingly, if they had built a larger tower to take the photo from, they would have needed less men.
  • Jonathan Biddle 8y

    Proposed Bill Would Bring 4,000 Troops Back To Life
  • la teja Pride 8y

    estaban realmente al pedo estos muchachos.
  • Andy 8y

    I pay taxes, a lot of them. I obey the laws. I uphold my end of the social contract. There's my patriotism right there. That's all the government cares for you to do, anyway.
  • *cHARLIe 2112(^:* PRO 8y

    Yep, I agree. But I don't think that patriotism and government are the same thing.
  • questorian 8y

    I think it is a good thing if Americans started thinking about what they believe in (patriotism) for example - rather than being manipulated into a false sense of guilt, by unscrupulous, dynasty building politicians.
  • *cHARLIe 2112(^:* PRO 8y

    Yep, I don't know why any of us would feel guilty about anything (yet many seem to feel like that). The left is playing politics with our troops and thereby dupe many apparently.
  • Hannah 8y

    "Why wouldn't anyone be proud of their homeland?"

    Is there something to be proud of right now? "Patriotism" has been perverted by self-interested politicians into an excuse for monitoring citizens' every move. This is a lovely picture, but a few thousand people gathering in a field to form the image of a beloved icon is not going to send any message in the present day except that we are blindly accepting whatever the government cares to shove down our throats.

    Thanks for posting this.
  • *cHARLIe 2112(^:* PRO 8y

    Maybe buddy but maybe not. I don't really know. I tend to think that until the borders can effectively be sealed and we can somehow really KNOW who is here and why they're here that "monitoring" isn't a bad idea. I have absolutely nothing to fear from the Patriot act but much more to fear without it.
  • the_real_mental_nomad 7y

    Anyone who thinks the country was more patriotic then has a very shaky grasp of actual history. It makes for great flag waving rhetoric but shows a supreme lack of authenticity. From Justice's Holmes's using the evilly inaccurate 'Shouting fire in a theater' (thanks for nothing you robe wearing SOB) used to suppress, censor and arrest any opposition the war, to the fact the US avoided war, and rightfully so, until the very end. Not to mention this pic was made only shortly after World War I Selective Service was created.

    But then, seems people are only able to equate militaristic conquests as the only valuable form of patriotism.

    When the truth is, there is no time in a country's existence, when it is more of a patriotic duty of every citizen to be even more vigilant of its own government's actions and intents than during the times before, during and after a war. If there is no recognition of a loyal opposition you might as well get rid of the Constitution. And melt down the real Statue of Liberty to make weapon parts while you are at it.

    And before anyone takes shots this way, bear in mind I come from a military family that has left dead in every war this country has declared and couple it didn't. That is not even counting those wounded. But if you’d said to them they were being Patriotic, they’d likely thought you missed the point.

    But as my Dad, a decorated veteran of WW2, Korea and Vietnam once said to me. Patriotism is just a BS way of saying propaganda.

    That said, it is a splendid photo. The organizational aspects, the blending of all the new technologies was really cool.
  • Chuck 7y

    It would indeed send a message: WE ARE A BUNCH OF MORONS!!!!
  • *cHARLIe 2112(^:* PRO 7y

    What would send that message drsivana? Not drilling for our OWN energy needs and TAXING people to death? If that's what you are refering to then I agree.
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Taken on November 2, 2007

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