Waving the bloody shirt
In the American election campaigns in the 19th century, "waving the bloody shirt" was a phrase used to ridicule opposing politicians who made emotional calls to avenge the blood of political martyrs.
The phrase gained popularity with a fictitious incident in which Benjamin Franklin Butler of Massachusetts, when making a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, allegedly held up a shirt stained with the blood of a carpetbagger whipped by the Ku Klux Klan during the Reconstruction Era.
While Butler did give a speech condemning the Klan, he never waved anyone's bloody shirt.
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