From the July issue of American Demographics:

The plain old Fourth of July isn't good enough anymore. Almost every year since 1976, the U.S. has also celebrated a special centennial, bicentennial or sesquicentennial of a patriotic event.

On the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in 1987, for example, the number of people who visited the Liberty Bell rose nearly 30 percent. This year, Philadelphia's National Historic Park boosted attendance with special events in honor of Benjamin Franklin's death 200 years ago. In Washington, the U.S. Congress is celebrating its bicentennial. ...

You might say that the success of these celebrations is evidence that America is in a period of unprecedented nationalism. But as the Bill of Rights approaches its 200th anniversary in 1991, flag wavers and flag burners are facing off. ...

Most Americans believe the Supreme Court's decision to allow flag burning was not an endorsement of the act, according to a poll by the Roper Organization. But one-third say that the court's action was morally wrong even though it was legally correct. Another third say that the ruling was both morally wrong and legally wrong. Almost two-thirds of Americans would support state laws that prohibit flag burning; over half would favor a Constitutional amendment. ...

One American in 20 flies a flag during a typical week, according to {another} poll conducted by the Roper Organization. ... Age is the best predictor of who displays the flag: adults aged 60 or older are twice as likely to fly it as those under age 30. Another predictor is politics. Six percent of both Democrats and Republicans fly the flag, but 12 percent of people who identify themselves as political or social activists are flag wavers.