wave the bloody shirt

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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 ?
A rising man--he married the beautiful daughter of Congressman Benjamin Butler, the ferocious Union man who actually waved the bloody shirt of a murdered federal official on the floor of the House to underscore the depth of Southern depravity--Ames was nevertheless defeated by the relentlessness of white resistance to conform to the law of the land.
The more he came under attack, the more he waved the bloody shirt of race, embracing Louis Farrakhan, and polarizing the city along racial lines.