[Ads-l] Saying: When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 29 12:26:02 EDT 2017


Way back in August 2012 there was a discussion initiated by David A.
Daniel about a quotation attributed to Sinclair Lewis and Huey Long.
The Quote Investigator website now has an entry:

When Fascism Comes To America, It Will Be Wrapped in the Flag
http://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/07/28/flag/

[Begin acknowledgement]
Great thanks to David A. Daniel and David H. Rothman whose inquiries
led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.
Rothman pointed to the commentary of the Sinclair Lewis Society.
Thanks also to discussants Bonnie Taylor-Blake, Victor Steinbok, and
Fred Shapiro. Additional thanks to David Emery of Snopes for his
research on this topic.
[End acknowledgement]

QI also has an entry on a related expression often attributed to Huey
Long as mentioned previously.

Sure, We'll Have Fascism in This Country and We’ll Call It Anti-Fascism
http://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/03/04/anti-fascism/


Garson


On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Months ago I was asked about a quotation attributed to Huey Long:
>
> If fascism comes to America it would be on a program of 100 percent Americanism
>
> While exploring this saying I found a cluster of quotations attributed
> to Long and others (including Sinclair Lewis) about fascism coming to
> America.
>
> Here are some of the examples of this comment type starting in the 1930s:
>
> If fascism comes to America
> … it would come disguised as an anti-fascist movement.
> … it would come masked as anti-Fascism.
> … it will be called "democracy."
> … it will be wrapped in an American flag.
> … it will be wrapped in an American flag and carrying a cross
> … it will be called 100 percent Americanism.
> … it will be called Americanism.
>
> Sinclair Lewis wrote "It Can't Happen Here" about populism and fascism
> in a satirical future America. So it is unsurprising that his name
> would be attached to quotes of this type.
>
> It was a large topic with many variants. I did not find substantive
> evidence that Huey Long or Sinclair Lewis wrote or said one of these
> quotes.
>
> Garson
>
> On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM, David A. Daniel <dad at pokerwiz.com> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       "David A. Daniel" <dad at POKERWIZ.COM>
>> Subject:      Fascism in America
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying
>> a cross." This has been floating around the Internet lately, attributed to
>> Sinclair Lewis, which is apparently bogus as to the letter if not to the
>> spirit. Does anyone have more information on this? (If this is somewhere in
>> the archives, sorry, but I didn't find it.)
>> DAD
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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