Flag Drop

"I'd like to make one final statement. Kif, c'mere and hold up the flag. And wave it a little, for God's sake."
Zapp Brannigan, Futurama

Where the hero poses in front of (or next to) a prominently shown national flag.

Any sort of overly patriotic (or even generically heroic) speech will have the flag slowly descending into view behind the speaker and some music (usually the Dambusters march, for some reason) slowly rising to match.

This use of the American flag can become Narm very easily, especially outside the United States.

Largely a subtrope of Patriotic Fervor. Compare Wearing a Flag on Your Head.


Examples:

Anime

Film - Animated
  • Toy Story 2 has Buzz Lightyear give an inspiring speech as a waving flag appears in the background and "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays. This fades into the next scene, where Al has fallen asleep in front of the TV, and the station is playing the national anthem to sign off for the night. Averted in the international version, where the flag is substituted by a spinning globe, with a generic musical theme playing instead of the American anthem.

Film - Live Action
  • The opening scene in Patton where General Patton gives a Rousing Speech to his men just before they go into battle is the Trope Codifier, to the point where most modern examples are parodies of it.
  • In Spider-Man 3, immediately before Spidey springs into action to save New York from Venom and Sandman, he takes a moment to stand impressively in front of a ridiculously large American flag lit by an unknown source of light in the middle of the night.
  • Near the end of The Rocketeer, there's a scene where the character stands in front of an American flag and has a spotlight shine on him before a dramatic fiery takeoff. For better or for worse, he's about to go fight some Nazis.
  • Small Soldiers has Chip Hazzard stroll in front of an American flag... or rather, a jigsaw puzzle of one, since the Commando Elite are all in a toy store at this point. The speech he gives is composed entirely of quotes from famous patriotic speeches.
  • In the color version of the 1902 film Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon in English) the displayed flag is always a Red-Yellow-Red Spanish flag. This could not have been an accident because Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès was French and every frame of the color version was colored by hand.

Live-Action TV
  • In one episode of Frasier, as Frasier was giving an inspirational, quasi-patriotic speech, a giant American flag suddenly dropped in front of the windows of his apartment.
    Niles: How did you do that?
  • Played with in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. The Gokaigers are Space Pirates, so their roll call Stock Footage involves the crew's Jolly Roger.
  • Was often used by Alton Brown in Good Eats 'American Classics' episodes.
  • On a Late Night with Conan O'Brien segment, Conan remarked how, at the time, Britney Spears had visited New York and wasn't seen with her kids. Max Weinberg said he was disgusted, and began a speech directed at Britney about it. The catch was, he wasn't upset with her behavior, but that he didn't get to see her vagina (a reference to Britney getting out of a car without panties). During this faux patriotic speech, a flag dropped behind him in the background.

Theatre
  • In the musical Chicago, Billy brings on Uncle Sam to drape an American flag behind Roxie during his Chewbacca Defense closing argument. In this case, the use is deeply ironic, contrasting American values of honesty and righteousness against the dishonesty and manipulation of the public that Billy utilizes.

Web Animation
  • Red vs. Blue has this happen when Sarge give a Rousing Speech to his comrades (and Grif), complete with anthem. Being RvB, this is quickly lampshaded.
    Donut: Where did that flag come from?
    Grif: Flag? Who gives a fuck about the flag? How about the guy who's singing?

Western Animation
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Collect Her", this happens when Professor Utonium tells Lenny Baxter that a true fan should set the girls free.
    Utonium: Free to do the things they do best. To do the things we love most about them.
  • Futurama: Zapp Brannigan does this with the DOOP flag when delivering a speech to defend himself in court.
  • In one episode of Phineas and Ferb, when Ferb makes a Rousing Speech about finding a giant chameleon named Steve, a truck with a Union Jack painted on the side just happens to pull up behind him.