wave the bloody shirt

(redirected from Waving the bloody shirt)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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 ?
The Republican Party presided over the Civil War and Reconstruction, during which it intimidated opponents by waving the bloody shirt and taking the "patriotic" offensive.
s success in waving the bloody shirt for two generations after the Civil War.
They wasted little time in waving the bloody shirt of free speech, even calling for Markey's resignation during a noisy City Hall demonstration.