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What does it mean to be an American? What (if any) "sacred ties" bind us together as a special people with a special destiny? And what is the proper place for quasi-religious icons, like the flag, and creedal affirmations, like the Pledge of Allegiance, in constituting ourselves as a special community? These timely questions have been sharply posed in recent months by the presidential campaign of George Bush, a proud, albeit adopted, son of the Lone Star state. But these questions are more than timely-they are timeless. Indeed, months before the general election took shape, these and related questions were posed with even more crispness-and with far more elegance, eloquence, and thoughtfuilnessby another adopted son of Texas, Professor Sanford Levinson.

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