One of the greatest moments of Hollywood film is this stirring call to arms against fascism, and it reminded me of an argument from Eric Hobsbawm writing in 1983
In the anti-fascist period of the 30s, the Communist International launched the call to wrest away national traditions from the bourgeoisie, to capture the national flag so long waved by the Right. So the French Left tried to conquer, capture or recapture both the tricolour and Joan of Arc and to some extent it succeeded.
In this country, we didn’t pursue quite the same object, but we succeeded in doing something more important. As the anti-fascist war showed quite dramatically, the combination of patriotism in a genuine people’s war proved to be politically radicalising to an unprecedented degree. At the moment of his greatest triumph, Mrs Thatcher’s ancestor, Winston Churchill, the unquestioned leader of a victorious war, … found himself, to his enormous surprise, pushed aside because the people who had fought that war, and fought it patriotically, found themselves radicalised by it. And the combination of a radicalised working class movement and a peoples’ movement behind it proved enormously effective and powerful. … But let us not forget that our ‘Churchillian’ memories are not just of patriotic glory — but of victory against reaction both abroad and at home: of Labour triumph and the defeat of Churchill.