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The flag stands for larger symbols such as freedom, democracy, free enterprise or national superiority.does not encourage reflection on the logical relations among these ideas, nor on the logical consequences of them as they are played out in social actuality, over time and history.Activities appealing to supernatural beings are easily considered rituals, although the appeal may be quite indirect or subtle, expressing only a generalized belief in the existence of the sacred demanding a human response.National flags, for example, may be considered more than signs representing a country.Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be formal yet still makes an appeal to historical.An example is the American Thanksgiving dinner, which may not be formal, yet is ostensibly based on an event from the early Puritan settlement of America.On the contrary, the flag encourages a sort of all-or-nothing allegiance to the whole package, best summed [by] 'Our flag, love it or leave.' Particular objects become sacral symbols through a process of consecration which effectively creates the sacred by setting it apart from the profane.Boy Scouts and the armed forces in any country teach the official ways of folding, saluting and raising the flag, thus emphasizing that the flag should never be treated as just a piece of cloth.
In adopting this style, ritual leaders' speech becomes more style than content.
The rites of past and present societies have typically involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, processions, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, and much more.
Ritual utilizes a limited and rigidly organized set of expressions which anthropologists call a "restricted code" (in opposition to a more open "elaborated code").
Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying "hello" may be termed rituals.
The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term.
They include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also rites of passage, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more.