A New “Star Spangled Banner”
This flag was formally adopted as the nation’s flag in late 1933. There was a desperate need to replace Old Glory, which was considered a relic of an ineffective and antiquated government.
The flag was one of many designs by the Minister of Propaganda and Design, Bart P. Christopher, and was personally selected by Secretary of General Affairs, Smedley Butler.
Fun fact: Minister Christopher was responsible for many of the most iconic symbols of USFRA. His graphic design style was highly popular and often copied by amateur design students who grew up in the USFRA.
The centerpiece of the flag is an eagle perched upon a globe surrounded by stars. This design was reused as the official seal of the USFRA.
Fun fact: The bald eagle remained the nation’s official bird, even after the fascist government took over.
In a journal that was published as The Minister’s Diary shortly after his 1958 death, Christopher noted that the eagle was placed on top of the globe to symbolize the USFRA’s position as a world superpower with the goal of global domination.
Fun fact: There were only three superpowers at the height of the USFRA’s reign – the Nazi Germany, the USSR, and the USFRA. Interestingly, none of these nations exist today.
The “Stars and Stripes Controversy”
The USFRA flag was controversial for many reasons, but the most lasting of these controversies was the issue of the inclusion of stars and stripes in the flag’s design.
The USFRA flag only has 13 stars of despite the fact that the USFRA still recognized the borders of all 48 states. In comparison, the former US flag had one star that represented each state in the Union.
The inclusion of what many considered “outdated” symbols of the old republic was a point of tension amongst Secretary Butler and some senior USFRA officials. These tensions came to a sudden halt when opponents of the flag were executed at Secretary Butler’s order and replaced by more “compliant” men.
The Minister’s Slave Obsession
In The Minister’s Diary, Christopher chose to include the 13 stars and stripes of the old US flag to symbolize 1776 and the Founding Fathers. Christopher considered this era to be only “shining moment” in US history. He considered everything else to be a “sad waste of what could have been a strong and powerful empire.”
Christopher also admired the fact that many of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. Despite the fact that the USFRA upheld the ban on slavery, he considered the inclusion of the stars and stripes as a visual representation of his affinity for the slave-owning Founders.
Fun fact: In another passage in The Minister’s Diary, Christopher mentions a 1942 memo addressed to Secretary Butler regarding slavery. The memo, from Christopher, urged Butler to make slavery legal in order to help boost the efficiency of the growing military industrial complex. Butler rejected the idea almost immediately, Christopher noted.
Christopher writes that the reason that Butler rejected the idea of slavery was due to his history as a vocal critic of the economy of wartime.
Fun fact: After retiring from the US Marine Corps, Butler wrote War Is A Racket. In the piece, he outlines his thoughts and critiques of the military industrial complex. Butler believed that industrialists, many of whom made profit due to wartime manufacturing, unfairly benefited from war at the expense of mass human suffering.