Raven: A Journal of Vexillology

Volume 12, 2005

Heinz Tschachler
Pages 63-86

“Sacred Emblems of Attachment”: The Lewis & Clark Expedition, American Nationalism, and the Colonization of the West

As the U.S. commemorates the bicentennial of the 1803-06 Lewis & Clark Expedition, this essay explores nationalistic rituals, celebrations, and public displays of nationhood both in the expedition and its immediate aftermath. In the invented traditions deployed in colonial encounters with Native Americans, the U.S. flag articulated the national pride of the young republic and the newly acquired sovereignty of the United States over the native populations and their lands.