Misplaced Nationalism

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    It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.
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    Any time I've been to an historical building in Ireland, after five minutes you'll see a plaque on the wall, and it says "and then the English came and ruined it."
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    It's another day on the Internet. Someone mentions a nation in passing, another person mentions something about that nation and how bad it is. Everyone takes sides, a heated argument ensues, and the original topic may never be mentioned again.

    What is this force that divides Message Boards, derails discussions, and causes otherwise reasonable people to turn into frothing super-patriots? That's right, it's Misplaced Nationalism, the division of the Internet along national[1] lines even though the Internet supposedly transcends borders. This generally comes hand in hand with the assumption that even though you may not agree with everything your country does, people from other countries are totally complicit in everything their country does. Don't like their leader? Insult them for it or, better yet, blame them for supporting that person (even when they didn't). Have a grudge on their country for something that happened decades or even centuries ago? Bring it up now, and blame the current generation for it! Hold a nasty prejudice against another country? Rag on them for it! If they insist you're misinformed, tell them they're lying, because you clearly know more about their country than they do.

    The typical result is that everyone else in the discussion (who up to that point had been nationless Internet entities) suddenly become flag waving patriots for whatever country they happen to be from (even if they don't actually take sides) or agree with. The argument will usually rage on until a moderator or the involved parties realize that they got along fine before they knew what country everyone was from. Usually, at least one person (often but not always the one who started it) will still be extremely bitter about the whole thing, and these arguments have been known to kill forums that couldn't deal with them.

    Although it can be hard to distinguish them from the actual Single Issue Wonks, these types of arguments are often started by Trolls looking to rile everyone up. Like with most trolling, the best way to deal with it is to ignore it and hope it goes away.

    This online tendency also reflects (and at worst, exploits) the very human tendency to gravitate towards like-minded individuals, groups, societies, etc. At the same time, it's symptomatic of growing tribalism, partisanship, "Cyber-nationalism" and similar trends online as the internet has consequentially made it easier for echo-chambers and various niches to form, for good or ill.

    When Misplaced Nationalism breaks out, it's not uncommon to see bouts of Cultural Cringe also appear from Boomerang Bigots, who are all too happy to agree with the vitriol aimed at their countrymen. Others may beg for belligerents to Stop Being Stereotypical, especially if they're acting out negative stereotypes. Expect to see plenty of Hypocritical Fandom and No True Scotsman fallacies in these situations as well.

    See also: Patriotic Fervor, Flame War, Single-Issue Wonk, Internet Backdraft, Cultural Posturing.

    Warning to Tropers: By its nature, this is highly controversial. Please note that if you do plan to add an example, and you might be right, due to heated and differing opinions on the subject please do follow the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment before deciding to do so. Make sure the tone is neutral, unbiased, and will not easily incite people. Refrain from Justifying Edits and Conversation in the Main Page as well. If you think it is wrong, remove it or discuss about it in the discussion page. And if you think an example deserves to be here and it gets deleted (or you just want to make sure you don't step on anyone's toes), take it to the discussion page and we can sort things out. Do not start an Edit War.

    Oh and another thing: We have no interest in having myopic nationalistic crusades on this wiki. It brings nothing but Flame Wars, breaks the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement, and doing so can get you banned. Please also try to remove any nationalistic-related insults and rants you find across the wiki and report any tropers doing this to the moderators.

    Examples of Misplaced Nationalism include:


    Note: Examples are categorized according to what the "Misplaced Nationalism" is directed at.

    Towards North American Countries

    • General discussion involving the United States of America in general. Just mentioning the USA in some areas has the possibility of igniting a flame war. "America Is Evil" is a common reaction to a number of things on the Internet. These attitudes turn up in Real Life, as well.
      • An example of this is that on any article/video about some bad American thing, expect a bunch of comments from Europeans (or just people who don't live in the USA in general) saying "I'm glad I live in X Country where Y doesn't happen!"
    • Displays of American culture or patriotism. For instance, the American sports chant "U-S-A! U-S-A!" is sometimes viewed as an example of inconsiderate Flavor #2 Eaglelandism at its worst, by both non-Americans and Americans who suffer from the Cultural Cringe. It's also a major source of Hypocritical Fandom, as the people who denounce displays of American culture or patriotism will applaud and support similar displays from other countries.
    • Even the etymology of the word "Yankee" can stir up Misplaced Nationalism. To an American it's someone from a specific part of the United States, although generally it's in reference to somebody who is from a state that sided with the Union during the Civil War. To other Anglophones, it's anyone from the United States. Thus arguments between Americans from the South denying that they're Yankees and people from other countries angry that they're denying that they're American occasionally spring up.
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    To foreigners, a Yankee is an American. To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner. To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner. To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander. To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter. And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.

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    • A particularly stupid version of this occurs over the differences in English-language spelling between the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Typically, people from the Commonwealth claim their spelling is purer or more proper (despite the fact that both systems have evolved pretty much equally since they first split), while Americans claim their spelling is better or more efficient (despite the fact that both systems have equally vast numbers of idiosyncrasies, like most languages).
    • Arguments between White and Black Americans on Affirmative Action, Racism in the modern and past USA, colonialism, black nationalism, etc. Given both sides feel victimized things can get nasty.
    • Canada, seemingly unified to other people, is actually extremely fragmented internally. Many provinces, not just Quebec, have a long history of isolationism within the country itself. For a long time after Confederation, the attitude was "British Columbians are British Columbians, Albertans are Albertans, etc." Nobody was Canadian. That attitude still carries over today, especially with the clashing cultures of French Canada and English Canada. All of this misplaced provincial and cultural pride fuels flame wars on a truly horrific scale. The most unifying factor appears to be hatred of Toronto.
    • Basically every single video with a social commentary on modern Mexico will result in a massive flame war between Mexicans themselves.
      • This has its history, since many Mexicans love to argue about who is the worst president ever.
    • People from Spanish or Portuguese-speaking nations (e.g. Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the countries of South and Central America) can be real Single Issue Wonks toward Americans on the subject of demonyms and etymology, bashing Americans for calling themselves "American." The reason this happens is twofold.

      First, people from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries are taught that the Americas are not two continents, but one. In the United States, Canada, most English speaking countries and Asia, the Americas are referred to as two separate continents and are always called "North America" and "South America." Thus, where people from the former group would refer to people from the American continents as "Americans" in their own language, people from the latter group would say "North Americans" or "South Americans" in theirs.

      Second. Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries[2] often call Americans "United Stateser" (Estadounidense and Estadunidense, respectively), whereas in English and most other languages, Americans are called "American" in some form or fashion. What's more, in some of these countries the word Norteamericano is used to mean "citizen of the United States," where the equivalent English word means "person from the North American continent." Further, there is no way to say "United States-ian" as one might say Mexican, except to say American. This means that Americans have to use that terminology because there is simply no other way to say it.

      This leads some to assume that Americans call themselves American out of ignorance of other countries in the Americas--or out of deliberate arrogance--even though the word's usage had been cemented in the English language well over a century before the United States was founded. In fact, the first known examples of the word "American" being used in English to mean "citizen of the British colonies" are found in The English-American: A New Survey of the West Indies, a book by Thomas Gage written in the 1640s.
      • People prone to this tend to call Americans "USicans" in English (or some derivation thereof), and demand that others do the same--which is another source of Misplaced Nationalism itself.
    • Some non-Americans for some reason tend to get pretty infuriated when an American company licenses a foreign franchise to America.
    • Similar to the above, a work from that is considered to be So Bad It's Good, It's Popular, Now It Sucks, etc. that has worldwide popularity may sometimes tend to have the country of origin hell bent on distancing themselves from it.
    • There is some rivalry between Canadians and Americans, mostly due to their geographic proximity. One tends to be the butt of the others' joke when both are referenced. While this is mostly joking in nature, a number of either may take serious offense, or take the jokes too far that they do cause offense. Similarly, mistaking one for the other can cause the mistaken party to take offense, mostly due to perceived negative stereotypes associated with the other.
    • Similar to the above, there's South Park's Blame Canada song, whom some Canadians decided to take it as "Americans bashing Canadians", despite that it's really satirizing Moral Guardians.
    • Mexican immigrants to the United States tend to be a sore spot between Mexicans and Americans. A number of Mexicans tend to dislike those that emigrate to America, considering them disloyal to their nation and heritage. In turn, some of these emigrants also express disdain toward those who chose to stay due their grievances with the country. Making things worse, is the amount of Mexican immigrants have illegally entered the country, which has not gone well with many Americans. Figuring out way on how to deal with this problem has been an endless source of debate and ire between Mexicans, Mexican-Americans (both legal and illegal), and other Americans.
    • A strange internal version takes place in the comments for this video. For the most part it consists of people declaring (with various levels of seriousness, but always generally in favor of Portland) its perfect accuracy. Then along comes one guy saying Portland is just a wannabe Austin. The mockery of Austin that follows more or less fits the tone of previous Portland worship, but the Texan guy still doesn't seem to get the joke.
    • Any discussion on an international forum regarding either the Association or American types of "football", even among people who don't follow sports. Arguments over the names of the sports, arguments over kit, all argument fodder. See the Sports section on Internet Backdraft and the Fans of "That other Football" section on Acceptable Hobby Targets for more.
    • There's a bit of state nationalism within the United States when it comes to Florida and California. A lot of Californians will point out that Florida is "like California but they replaced the fun with old people." However, Floridians will retort by pointing out that California is basically a desert and can't support a tropical climate like Florida does. This leads to citizens from the two states (usually people from central California vs. people from central Florida) calling each other "wannabes".
    • Any discussion involving Cuba is likely to devolve into pro- or anti-American flaming, communism vs. capitalism Flame Wars, Che Guevara bashing/idealising, bickering about free healthcare etc.
    • Some lively, if reasonably friendly, regional flame wars can get going among Americans about how to cook barbeque. Beef vs pork, best sauce, best smokehouse wood, and timing are all grounds for a spat, the moreso when anyone dares to question which regional recipe is "real" barbeque and which is "grilling".
    • Know those Americans that complain about how immigrants are not speaking English? Remind them that the United States never made a law stating that English is the official language and see how well that goes.
    • Europeans assuming that the US is the same all over, or that it can be divided into North and South. The Midwest is not to be grouped with the Northeast, ever. And for the love of all that is holy, the South is not Texas!
    • The American Civil War/War Between the States/War of Northern Aggression/War of Southern Treason breeds an example of this for a nation that no longer even exists. Which of the aforementioned names you choose for the war is enough to speak volumes about your opinion on it, and what part of the country you grew up in. Was the war about ending slavery, or about preserving states' rights? Was Abraham Lincoln a hero who freed the slaves, or a tyrant who trampled on the freedoms of half the country? Was General Sherman a war hero who did what he had to do to pacify Georgia, or should he have been tried for war crimes? Did the Southern states have a legitimate right to secede, or did they betray the US? Was the "Reconstruction" era the final insult by the victorious Union, or a valiant (albeit short-lived) attempt to ensure that the freed slaves didn't get their rights stripped from them by vengeful white ex-Confederates?
    • New Yorkers vs. New Jerseyans on the issue of rightful ownership of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The landmarks are technically on New Jersey's side of the Hudson River, and Jersey City uses the Statue of Liberty on official documents and on "Welcome to Jersey City" signs, yet legally, they are exclaves of the State of New York. The arguments can get quite fierce, especially as one gets closer to the Hudson.
      • Likewise, the fact that the New York area's two football teams, the New York Giants and Jets, play in a stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New Jersey governor Chris Christie even entered this fray by referring to one of the teams as the "Jersey Jets" as a Take That against the team's owners for leaving "New York" in the name.


    Towards South American Countries

    • Chileans vs. Argentinians/Bolivians/Peruvians debates get really nasty. It doesn't help that Bolivia and Peru have held a grudge against Chile for a long, long time (130 years since the war that caused the animosity and the wounds still haven't healed), while Argentina's relations with Chile are merely on-again/off-again. The fact that Chile has the best economy and living standards in all South America (with the possible exception of Brazil) does not help things.
    • Many threads or responses on Spanish dubbed clips on Youtube inevitably dissolve into bickering between those who prefer Spanish!Spanish or Latin American!Spanish, generally over which audience it was intended for, and thus how it should be dubbed. Given just how regional the Spanish language can be, depending on which continent the speaker comes from (or often even just country or province), it's understandable, but leads to a lot of unnecessary flame wars over nationality and colonialism.


    Towards European Countries

    • See above where Americans get angry if Europeans don't know that America isn't one homogenous country? Americans do the exact same thing, assuming that everyone in (for example) Italy speaks the same language, shares the same culture, etc. There are far more linguistic and cultural differences among residents of an average Italian province than there is among all of the Americas combined.
      • It doesn't help that Americans seem to see the English as the cultural equivalent of a blank screen or white noise. An American who is 31/32 English and 1/32 Irish will frequently consider himself "Irish", often because he's been led to believe that there is no such thing as English culture - it's the default against which actual cultures are measured against. You then get Americans hypercorrecting themselves in order to call the capital of England "London, UK", thinking that this is more accurate and more politically correct than "London, England".
    • In a possible subversion of this trope, the French are somewhat spared by this (they don't consider themselves THAT much of an uberawesome country and there is not that much provincial infighting). Unless you talk about Association Football or World War II, in which case prepare to be rushed by suddenly-tricolor-wearing-and-rooster-wielding French netizens.
    • Mistaking a Scotsman, Irishman or Welshmen for an Englishman really annoys some of them. This also goes for using "England" to refer to the whole of the United Kingdom, or, indeed, referring to any British citizen, trait, or product as 'European'.
    • Youtube hosts a video Flame War between Brits (mostly English) and French where members make and post very nationalistic videos trying to prove that their country is the best and the other sucks.
    • Finns are very sensitive about things that come from Finland. Calling Nokia Japanese may actually make a Finn materialize from thin air to correct you. And for your own sake, never mistake anything Finnish (like The Moomins) for Swedish.
      • How do you mistake Finns for Swedes anyway? Finns sound like nobody else on the planet thanks to their Moon Talk.
        • Actually, Finnish-speaking Finns sound remarkably like Estonians. However, Finland belonged to Sweden until 1809 and about one-tenth of Finland's population consists of people who speak Swedish. Tove Jansson, the writer and artist of the The Moomins happened to come from this minority and originally wrote the stories in Swedish.
      • Finns also get very upset at people calling them Scandinavians. Everyone in Northern Europe uses the term "the Nordic Countries" to refer to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, while Scandinavia is a region made up of only Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
        • There are conflicting definitions of "Scandinavia", for some it is just Sweden and Norway, but not Denmark. The "Nordic countries" also can include the Faeroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland.
    • Naturally, given the history between Ireland and the United Kingdom (but England in particular), it's very easy to rile up tensions between denizens of the two. Similarly, between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which remains a territory of the United Kingdom. And Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. And between the different denizens of Northern Ireland, many of whom have very strong opinions on exactly whether they should be part of either Ireland or the United Kingdom.
      • This extends into real life, where a lot of (Catholic) Americans, often ex-pats or with Irish ancestors, often took the side of the IRA during the Troubles. Bono of U2, a born-and-bred Dublin lad, was very annoyed at those kind of people, especially after Enniskillen.
      • Most 'Irish' anti-English sentiment is largely from foreign people of Irish extraction, above all Americans who, from a European viewpoint, seem to be using a fake Irish identity to justify anti-English prejudice. In reality, actual English and actual Irish people are usually highly integrated (lots of Irish people live and work in the UK) and get on well with each other, there isn't any real cultural difference between the two countries, and pragmatism has usually overcome any historical tensions.
    • Suffice it to say, the United Kingdom is like a storm in a teapot. The various territories that make up the UK all have their own prides that clash with each other. Some of the British have developed a knack for self-deprecation humour, suggesting that they're the worst people in at least of all of Europe, and are the most irritating visitors [3]. Others have pointed out that England, and to a lesser extent, Wales, get the worst of everything within the UK [4], paying large sums of money to Scotland and in England's case, not having their own national parliament like Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
      • And never confuse Yorkshire with Lancashire!
      • Thanks to Stag parties going abroad to cheap Eastern European cities like Budapest, Prague and Riga you're seeing a new brand of annoyance toward the stereotypical annoying British tourist.
      • Special mention goes to the Scotland/England feud, which goes back a long time (people still talk about The Wars of Independence, which started in 1286) but has been given recent fervor by the ongoing independence debate. A lot of Scottish nationalists' rhetoric comes across as less 'pro-independence' and more 'anti-English', whereas the English arguments against independence all too often become rather patronising arguments for why Scotland is rubbish/wouldn't survive on its own. Tempers on all sides are easily inflamed, made even worse by the political divide (the current Prime Minister is Tory, a party with very little support in Scotland, so the mutual animosity there doesn't help).
      • Even more special mention goes to the Wales/England feud which goes back even longer than the Scottish/English one but which runs along similar lines. The Welsh tend to feel even more hard-done-by than the Scottish do.
      • By now most English people are fed up with all the troubles of Scotland and Wales being laid at their door when they now have their own parliament and can change a lot of their grievances when the English don't have a parliament and pay the most in taxes. Agruably if you had a referendum in England and asked if THEY wanted out of the Union it might just be that they will leave just to hear the end of it.
    • If you are Portuguese, any mention of your nationality in a Brazilian website will start a Flame War.
    • During and just after the 2008 Olympics, there have been a few Australians that got really mad at Britain purely because they got more medals, when normally it's the other way around.
      • Similarly, some Australian sour grapes were noted in 2005 after England defied convention and actually won the Ashes. On the whole, though, Australians are an easy-going and relaxed lot... unless it's sport you're dealing with.
    • Sibling rivalry is alive and well with Swedes vs Finns. While sports may occasionally be Serious Business, everything else is taken as a joke. Finns and Russians, on the other hand..
      • Well, who doesn't have this trope concerning the Russians?
      • And then there's Sweden and Norway. It's playful in most contexts - such as between descendants of Scandinavian immigrants in Midwestern America - but has the potential to turn ugly when World War Two comes up.
      • And if Riget is reliable, the Swedes and Danes have their issues. "DANSK JAVLAAAAAAAAR!!!"
    • Russia, from everything in the general vicinity, especially from Eastern Europeans and Central Asians.
      • Don't mistake other Eastern Europeans for Russians unless you really want to see who is first to punch you in the face.
        • And don't even think about doing the same with Central Asians.
    • Much of Eastern Europe that is not Russia would prefer to be associated as anything OTHER than Eastern Europe. Poles and Hungarians often vehemently claim to be in central Europe. Estonia has few qualms with being clumped with the Nordic countries due to close ties with Finland. Latvia and Lithuania sometimes are considered part of northern Europe despite having been part of the USSR. Just don't tag them as "The East" and they are fine.
    • Feuds between Russia and the United States can be pretty intense in pretty much anything, especially during the 20th century; when it was Communism vs. Capitalism in a nutshell. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, it isn't as frequent, but most jokes seem to be more for laughs at the expense of Russian Reversal jokes and Russian spies for the Americans. For its neighbors, there's several hundred more years of bad history to get over.
    • Poland has about as much rivalry with its neighbors as Russia. Between the World Wars this was Serious Business as the Russian Empire collapsed and Poland went to war over its old commonwealth territories in what is now Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania and got into diplomatic spats with Czechoslovakia for good measure. 70 years of tyranny and destitution later they can't agree on much, resulting in a collective European Face Palm.
      • Poles still don't care for Germans all that much, but the hate for the Russians has come to trump that old hostility for now.
        • However, President Obama learned that the best way to rouse an entire nation to firey righteous indignation is to call Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and other Nazi extermination camps "Polish death camps." When even Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, is tweeting about what a yutz you are for saying it, you KNOW you've crossed a line.
        • Don't remind Poles and Lithuanians that they have more than a little shared history. The nationalists on both sides STILL get into it over Vilnius/Wilno.
      • Polish jokes abound for much of the 20th century in the U.S. Mostly played for laughs, but can cause trouble in heavily Polish cities like Chicago and Pittsburgh.
        • Those jokes pretty much ended in 1979 with the advent of two Poles: Lech Walesa, the leader of Solidarity, and Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II.
      • Poles consider their language to be a thing of art and Czechs speak and odd, drunken form of Polish. Czechs have a similar, but reversed opinion on Polish. Everyone else wishes both would learn how to use vowels.
    • Hungary versus Slovakia and especially Romania. There is no limit to the number of self-proclaimed patriots in Hungary when someone mentions Romania; same with Slovakia when someone mentions Hungary.
    • Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Kosovar Albanians. Many times, their flame-wars are enough to make you want to Face Palm.
      • Slovenes distance themselves far from their South Slavic cousins as result of the mess between the aforementioned groups.
        • Flame Wars still do erupt between Slovenes and Croats though (there was a minor territorial dispute several years ago).
      • Historically (as in, the 90s) more of Flame Bait wherever the Serbs and Croats were involved.
      • After 20 years, the former Yugoslavia is still splintering into factions with Kosovo trying dearly to consider itself independent.
    • Related to the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia gets some flack from Greece, who think the country isn't worthy of using the name of Alexander the Great's homeland.
      • When they became independent from the USSR, Moldova's nationalists have gone to great lengths to insist they are not Romanians and do NOT speak Romanian despite the fact that Moldovan is largely considered to be Romanian with an accent.
    • Also related to Yugoslavia is Italy vs. Slovenia and/or Croatia (this isn't very common today, but it goes a long way into the past, starting with the expansion of medieval Venice onto the Eastern Shore of the Adriatic).
    • Within Belgium there's usually a three-way going on between nationalist Flemish, nationalist Walloons and federalist Belgians.
      • Don't forget the tiny German-speaking region that was gained after WWII.
      • There's also the minor "Whole Netherlands" and "All Netherlands" Dutch/Flemish nationalism which wants to join all of Belgium or only the Flemish Parts into one country with the Netherlands.
    • Dutchmen are a bit testy if you compare them to their neighbors, the Germans.
      • Never say their language is a dialect of German.
      • Similarly, don't say they speak Dutch in Germany simply because the name of said country in its language is Deutchland.
      • A similar reaction can be gotten from many Belgians by comparing their country to the Netherlands.
    • Anything involving Vatican city. Mentioning the smallest country in the World will easily set off some the biggest berserk buttons. This includes the events leading up to the creation of Vatican City, its religion, its government/administration, and even its dress code. If you can help it, just don't mention it.
    • Do NOT call Europe a country within earshot of just about anyone from it (but particularly the British and the French).
    • In military circles, American equipment is typically believed to be horrible, useless, and infinitely inferior to its European equivalents (German guns and Russian planes, in particular).
    • Calling someone in the Balkans a "Turk" can be a serious insult (this is because the Ottoman Empire conquered most of the Balkans in its heyday).
    • Don't mix up Sweden and Switzerland.
      • Also, don't mistake Austria for Australia.

    Towards Asian Countries

    • Arguments involving China/Korea, Japan and World War Two rarely end well.
      • This is also true for some Australians, Japan being the only nation to ever attempt invasion of Australia (well, except for Britain), as well as their treatment of Australian POW's.
    • The Korean Macross Missile Massacre weapon the Hwacha had received an Internet Backdraft in many places, ranging from claims that it is ineffective (debunked by the MythBusters) to claims that the Chinese really came up with the multiple rocket launcher system first.
    • Speaking of weapons, it's not uncommon for people on 4chan and in Historical European Martial Arts to apparently be on a raging crusade to turn Katanas Are Just Better into not just a Discredited Trope, but a flat out Dead Horse Trope. According to these folks, a katana is pretty much the sorriest example of a sword that ever existed, made from simple iron of absolutely horrible quality (partially true, but the steel that was wrested from that iron was perfectly functional) and completely worthless outside of its own element--which is sometimes misrepresented as being purely a ceremonial weapon or dueling weapon throughout its entire history--certainly no match for the longsword of a proper fechtmeister.
      • Too bad that polearms and bows were the more widely used weapons, in about every corner of the world during that time period, including Japan. Sorry, sword fans.
    • Pretty much anything about China will start a Flame War these days considering the rapid growth of China's economic and political power. Arguments over Human Rights, arguments over Tibet, arguments over their usage of communism, arguments over their usage of capitalism, outsourcing, etc.
    • Pakistanis and Indians. Case in point: this episode of Michael Moore's The Awful Truth (skip to the second half). Hate wars tend to start on news sites even when the article in question is about the two countries co-operating. Can get ugly.
    • Malaysians and Indonesians at occasion. The Pendet dance and Suzuki AFC cup "laser beam" controversies are some examples, with the latter managed to get on the top of trends in Twitter for a few days.
    • Do not bring up the issue of Tibet in a room full of Indians and Chinese. To say that they have very differing viewpoints on the subject Tibet's possible independence would be a massive understatement.
    • "Remember Pearl Harbor" seems to be the standard comment towards anything related to Japan: Japan's rising economy? Pearl Harbor. Major earthquake in Tohoku? Pearl Harbor. Obama's handshake with Emperor Akihito? Pearl Harbor. Pokemon's sudden popularity? Pearl Harbor. Japan winning a soccer match against the United States? Pearl Harbor.
    • Speaking of Japan, don't bother explaining why the morality around the atom bomb dropping as being more complex than it sounds. It will be ignored.
    • Discussing the Vietnam War as an American failure will not be pretty. It will turn into endless bitching about which side was winning despite the official end result.
    • Sometimes, anything to do with the Philippines can also bring this about. Whether it's over sports, politics or even whether Filipinos are "Asian" compared to their neighbors.

    Towards Oceanic Countries

    • The Aussies vs Kiwis rivalry is mostly a joke. Both countries are in on it. Nobody else seems to be. Genuine examples do tend to emerge when sport is involved (most infamously the "underarm incident").
    • Who Invented Pavlova? Don't go there. Just... don't.
    • While they don't get much Internet Backdraft compared to the Americans, debate on Football Codes tend to be pretty serious here as well. In Australia, the major sporting divide is between two codes of football: Australian Rules (played mostly in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and West Australia) and Rugby (played mostly in New South Wales and Queensland). The argument between fans long predates the internet and fans of those sports from outside the country has joined into the mix. The Flame Wars have gotten worse in recent years, as the national leagues for each code are attempting to move in on the other code's territory. Making things even more worse recently, soccer has a recently gained a foothold in Australia and has recently joined in the debate, which has not went well with fans of the other two codes and has started a bit of a back draft with Australians not embracing it in the international scene.


    Towards Middle Eastern and North African Countries

    • Kurdish groups are very proud and independent, with a strong desire for a Kurdistan. Unfortunately the land they want to build it on is currently part of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran so they clash with Turks a lot over independence and autonomy a lot. Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Kurds don't always get along over the same issue, especially when trying to figure out oil wealth. Syria and Turkey nearly went to war once over Syrian support for the Kurdish militant group called the P.K.K. Things can get pretty tense between the people there at best of times.
    • Palestinians (or Arabs)/Pro-Palestinian Westerners and Israelis/Pro-Israel Westerners are, contrary to popular belief, not akin to water and oil. They are the matter and antimatter of animosity.
      • Clashing mentalities there include the fact that the West Bank is the biblical Jewish homeland, and the accompanying belief that Jews thus have a right to settle there; the Muslim belief that losing territory claimed by Islam something that must be corrected; the Jewish fear that without a stronghold and stubborn nature, people are going to wipe them out again; the knowledge of the surrounding countries that, with such a strong army, acting like a terrified oppressed people makes no sense... Each side has such a different way of viewing the conflict that it becomes nearly impossible to fully comprehend the other, much less have a reasonable discussion.
    • Armenians and Turks. Very dangerous mix. Both sides accuse each other of genocide and genocide denial.
      • Also Greeks and Turks, and Bulgarians and Turks, and Russians and Turks, and Georgians and Turks, and Iranians and Turks, and...let's just say that of Turkey's neighbors, the only ones who seem to really like the Turks are the Azeris (which makes sense, given that they're the Shiite Turks who happened to live in the various Iranian empires rather than the Sunnis living in the Ottoman one; Azeri is still mutually intelligible with Turkish). In fairness, the Arabs have been warming up to them of late (on account of skillful Turkish diplomacy and the hottest soap operas the Arab world has yet seen).
    • Armenians and Azeris are just as bad of a mix. Though, like the above, genocide accusations are sometimes flung back and forth (but not quite as commonly), the main cause of contention is the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
    • If you don't want to start a Flame War, do not mention Iraq. Hell, the entire Middle East is a flame war hotbed. And it's not restricted to the internet. It can and often does start real wars too.
    • Well, Persians (i.e. Iranians of a certain ethnicity) will not take well to being called Arabs. Or Turks. Or Jews. Or any other thing than Persians, really. A real "us against them" mentality towards pretty much everyone in the world. Except the French. They're cool... See Omid Djalili for hilarious explanation of the phenomenon.
      • Armenians also seem to get a free pass, though.
        • And Persian Jews, at least outside of Iran, are very proud of their heritage.
    • Algerians and Moroccans have an odd one going. Algerians understandably have a beef with Morocco, given the 1964 attempt by Morocco to take land along their border just as Algeria won its independence; Morocco, in turn, wanted that land for the entirely legitimate reason that the land had been taken from Morocco and given to Algeria by the French--which conveniently enough was part of France at the time. This whole conflict has in turn created a decades-long animosity that Algerians tend to take a good bit more seriously than Moroccans, but which nevertheless runs strong, particularly when it comes to football. Why they don't both gang up and hate on the French (a lot of Algerians, surprisingly, don't, despite 130 years of frequently-brutal French colonial rule and a war of independence that cost about a million Algerian lives), who started the whole mess, is beyond most people's comprehension.
      • Note that it comes out not only when the teams are playing each other, but when they aren't: when Algeria and Egypt had a flap over qualification for the 2010 World Cup, a lot of Moroccans rallied to the Egyptian side, and joined Egypt in celebrating when Algeria (after qualifying) was humiliated in the group stage, losing all three games.
    • And of course, there is the most ridiculous and persistent bit of Cultural Posturing the world has ever seen: the Great Eastern Mediterranean Food Fight. Advice to anyone who wishes to keep their head:
      1. Do not, under any circumstances, call Turkish coffee "Turkish coffee" unless it is written that way on the menu. If there is no menu, play it safe and call it "Greek coffee" in a Greek restaurant, "Arabic coffee" in an Arabic one, "Armenian coffee" in an Armenian one, and "Turkish coffee" if and only if you are actually in a Turkish restaurant/cafe.
        • Or an Israeli one. Though not an Armenian restaurant in Israel.
      2. Do not, under any circumstances, ask who invented baklava around two persons of differing Eastern Mediterranean heritage. There will be blood.
        • Same goes for sweet mint tea and the sweet balls of fried dough the Greeks call loukoumades. The only thing that will get people more riled up would be saying, "why, these are just like Indian gulab jamun!"
      3. Do not, under any circumstances, suggest to an Egyptian that you prefer Lebanese/Syrian or (Heaven forbid) Israeli falafel. Your head will be bitten off, but not until the Egyptian has a chance to explain, in excruciating detail, why making falafel out of chickpeas rather than fava beans is an abomination and an offense before God.
        • In fairness, the Israelis are willing to concede that that they did in fact borrow most of their cuisine, and that some of their inventions (e.g. mud coffee) are at best an acquired taste. (On the other hand, suggesting that ptitim[5] are in any way bad or non-Israeli is a guaranteed recipe[6]. for an argument.) Additionally, Israelis would likely dispute some of the more absurd Arab culinary claims.
      4. Finally: Hummus. It's not a question of who invented it, but how to prepare it (or for many outside the Middle East, why?).

    Towards Multiple Countries in Multiple Continents / Other

    • 4chan's /int/ (international) board unsurprisingly exemplifies this trope to the extreme. Krautchan's /int/ (which is said to have inspired the addition of the board on 4chan) is relatively calm and tame, though.
    • Almost every single news article posted by any news site has the comments degrade to bitter nationalism flame wars, even if the article itself has nothing to do with the issues people argue over.
    • Any comment that starts with "You," "Typical," or the like when referring to nationalities or ethnic groups is more than enough to cause everyone else to rage.
    • In general, "Great Power" nations [7] tend to draw much more political and social ire than regular first world countries and especially third world countries. This happens not just on the internet, but in Real Life and in media as well.
      • Added to this, people from Third World Nations (Or what most people perceive as such) can expect either being ignored completely ("Where is that country?", "Who cares about it?") or being mocked for living in a nation like that ("My country has better standards of living than yours, therefore I'm better than all the people in your country", "Your people are inferior", "Stay in your nation!", etc.).
    • If your country has an infamous Vocal Minority, snarky debaters in other countries will use the stereotypes from those Vocal Minorities to describe your entire country. Granted those that do this are only a Vocal Minority as well, but it often leaves a bad taste for a lot of people and it's often a good source of many of these Flame Wars.
    • Many will accuse other nations of showing unhealthy amounts of Patriotic Fervor, but if their own country does it, it is often ignored regardless if it is just as bad if not worse.
    • And similar to the above two, the No True Scotsman fallacy is often used during these debates, as if apparently the "stupid" and "evil" elements of human nature are only confined to and only originate from certain specific areas and/or groups of people. When one (or an entire group) hears about a person committing a crime or something wrong, the person will see it as Snark Bait and will generally see it as "typical" of their nationality. However if another offender that is in the same nationality as their own commits a crime or does something wrong (especially if it's the exact same thing); rather than admit that they are wrong, the criminal is often seen as "atypical" of their nationality and will discredit them as "Not a true {Insert Nationality of their own here}."
    • A good example of this is often seen during the Olympic Games. Despite that the games are supposed to be about the best athletes, not the best countries, nationalism is regardless a very serious matter. Rooting for your countrymen can be subject to you being trolled on the internet, especially if you root for a high medal nation like the United States or China. The fact that "winning" the Olympic Games is only the matter of investment, doesn't help that case. The best athletes always comes from the country who spends the most on training them. Of course, this is one of the many reasons why the medal tallies aren't considered official by the IOC.
    • Many forms of Values Dissonance will often generate Flame Wars between countries.
    • Don't get between communists and American/British conservatives on YouTube. It never ends well.
    • This happens in board gaming communities, of all places. Games from Europe tend to have a different feel from games from the U.S., and people's preference for one gaming style over the other can occasionally bleed into the unnecessarily vitriolic, and as commentary on the nations themselves.
    • There is a rather amusing trend on more laid back sites of having threads discussing politics or religion where even Christians and Satanists talk quite civilly, but every third post has some shell shocked Internet veteran saying "We have to lock this thread before it turns into a Flame War!" A thread like this is often seen as a rite of passage for newer Message Boards.
    • On some forums, topics can get derailed when insults an entire country and/or its military forces, even if the topic was never about nationalism in the first place.
    • Happens sometimes in Axis Powers Hetalia fandom, unsurprisingly due to the nature of the series but especially ridiculous due to the nature of the series, because everyone sucks in a funny way.
    • Don't bring up the Second World War if people from countries that were once on opposing sides are on the forum.
      • The same goes for neutral countries, such as Sweden or Switzerland.
    • Any video of a nuclear bomb on YouTube, especially the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will have a huge flame war about the bombing of these cities going on in the comments. Expect to see the words "genocide" and "war crime" used. Also expect to see jaw-dropping epithets and hate language thrown all over the place.
      • On that same note, Pearl Harbor. Just switch the sides around, and you'll also get the same result.
    • Poll: "What is the best tank in the world?" on military related boards. The results of the poll will tell you nothing about the tanks themselves but they will speak volumes of the national and political leanings of a board and its members.
    • YouTube is well known for the bloody nationalist Flame Wars that rage in the comments for many, many videos (whether they have anything to do with the countries in question or not).
      • Whose Line Is It Anyway? - UK version or US?
      • The Office - UK version or US?
      • Let's face it, it's easier to list the Transatlantic Equivalents where there ISN'T a huge dispute over which version was better. For example, few Skins fans would dispute that the British version is the superior one, so it's more a battle over whether the American version was So Bad It's Horrible or So Okay It's Average.
      • Anything's Spanish dub or Latin American dub?
      • Quebec French dub or France French dub?
      • Portuguese dub or Brazilian Portuguese dub?
      • There's always a Turkey vs. Greece smackdown going on in the comments section of an "Istanbul not Constantinople" music video.
      • Look up any Kingdom of Heaven video on Youtube and you'll find a strange mixture of patriotic fury and dodgy history.
      • There are massive Greek-versus-Macedonian comment battles that make watching Youtube documentaries about Alexander the Great very depressing.
        • Going with the Greek vs. Macedonia/Turkey Vs. Greece comments, you may typically find Serbians vs. Albanians, Croatians vs. Serbians, Hungarians vs. Romanians, ect, etc. Essentially, pit any two countries from the Balkans against one another and they will fight over things that happened thousands of years ago.
          • Although some things like the Treaty of Trianon are relatively much more recent and others like Kosovo are still current issues.
      • Just try to watch something that references 9/11. Just try.
      • If you speak Dutch (or have a good translator) check out the comments on the videos of Leve België (Long Live Belgium) of the popular Flemish group Clouseau. It's an anti-seperatist song (for those who don't know, Belgium is "split" between Dutch speaking Flemish and French-speaking Walloons) so proponents and opponents of Flemish independence duke it out.
      • The comments from videos of national anthems from any country or other patriotic songs. A big part of them consist of people from other countries bashing either the anthem, the country itself or its countrymen. Another big part are fellow countrymen attacking or defending their current government.
    • Likewise, take any page on The Other Wiki dealing with any historical event, entity or person.
      • Or worse, the talk page for any article about an ancient tribe, nation, or ethnic group. Odds are it will contain a raging Flame War between the people who insist they are the sole descendants of that group (and hence are unique and special and downtrodden), and the people who think that ancient tribe was just an offshot of their ancestors (and hence they can claim credit for everything they did and/or should own the land where that tribe lived). Expect to see lots of shouting, people taking (or giving) personal offence, and early 20th Century (or earlier) academics and out-dated notions of racial classification dragged in as "proof" of whatever point is trying to be made. Typical examples: were the Bulgars Turkic or Iranic, and are the Bulgarians mainly descended from them or from the Slavs?]].
    • This even extends to The Economist's website, of all places. Discussion relating to any article which mentions a country by name (to wit, all of them) will consist of three groups - one group genuinely discussing the article, one group maintaining that "Country X is bad!" and one group maintaining that "The Economist is spreading vile lies about Country X"... even if the article itself was entirely neutral in tone.
      • There's a slight variation on this if it's an article on relations between country X and Y in Europe. One groups discusses the article. One claims "Country X mistreats the wonderful country Y" another "Country Y mistreats the wonderful country X" then another "This is why country X/Y should agreed with us, country Z instead" instead.
      • Just... don't bring up human rights in any piece on China (If the article's actually about that topic, then don't worry, you're screwed no matter what). The result will be flames flying in every direction from everyone.
    • Mocked by the 4chan meme of calling Europe "the worst country in the world".
    • The Civilization board CivFanatics Forums' Off-Topic section has developed the following into a law of nature:
    Cquote1.svg

    Michal Gadwyn's Law: The longer a CFC-OT discussion goes on, the probability of a statement involving Poland and/or Eastern/Central Europe approaches 1.

    Cquote2.svg
      • It's gone on long enough that most people have stopped caring and started to parody the argument of whether Poland is in Eastern or Central Europe by saying it's in Western Europe, Northern Europe, Western Asia, Northern Africa, Canada, Northern Europe, South America, Mars, and/or Canada.
      • Another topic from the Civilization forums that stirs nationalism: discussion of which civilizations should be included as new DLC. Many want their country to be included the game, and there's a lot of arguing over which cultures deserve the title of "civilization." This exemplifies the "misplaced" half of this trope, because Civ games have always had active modding communities that create custom civilizations that have too small of demand to make it into the game.
    • Made in Country X tends to invoke this when it comes to works and products, stating that True Art is made only in a/some specific country/ies. This can invoke some Public Medium Ignorance, to say the least.
    1. (Nationalism is the belief that all people can be divided into groups of similar people (marked by things such as shared language, culture, and ethnicity), "nations," which they identify themselves with. Most countries are home to a single nation, but not all nations are countries and some countries, like the now-defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire, have several "nations" within their borders.)
    2. though more often the Latin American ones than the Europeans
    3. after the Germans, who, in a case of what may be considered friendly rivalry, are stereotyped as humourless people who get up ridiculously early to place their towels in the best spots and then leave again
    4. unless in Wales, in which case change this to 'Wales, and to a lesser extent the north of England, get the worst of everything'
    5. "Israeli couscous" for non-Israelis
    6. Pun intended
    7. Nations that have a lot of political and social power and prominence