wave the bloody shirt

wave the bloody shirt

To encourage violence and animosity. The phrase was especially popular during the US Civil War. Primarily heard in US. A lot of people in our country are waving the bloody shirt right now, but I just can't support acts of violence, however justified they may be.
See also: bloody, shirt, wave
References in periodicals archive ?
As late as 1876, Ohio politicos were still advising supporters to wave the bloody shirt, and in 1875 the Grant administration declined to send troops to protect Mississippi blacks to secure the victory of Rutherford B.