The Atlantic

What Does Trump's 'Day of Patriotic Devotion' Really Mean?

The president declared his own inauguration a national holiday. But the language he used says something more.
Source: Kevin Dietsch / Pool / Getty

You could be forgiven for forgetting the National Day of Patriotic Devotion—technically, it happened before it was ever declared. Donald Trump established it with a stroke of a pen sometime after his inauguration; the official proclamation appeared Monday in the Federal Register.

That bit isn’t all that unusual. Presidents christen National Days Of Things all the time. President Barack Obama, for example, proclaimed the day of his own inauguration in 2009 a “National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation,” calling “upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking

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