American Flag Umbrella By Derek Webb

Stockholm Syndrome

2009 | Pop

Spotify | Amazon

“Oppression is always oppression. — No matter the reasons or means. — For skin or for sex, by stares or by fists it’s the same. —There are blinders on everyone.”


  • To get around the legal issues of releasing "What Matters More" without his label's approval, Webb composed a series of coded emails directing listeners to a secret website where they could piece together the missing track by playing an elaborate alternate reality game.
  • He found Stockholm Syndrome fascinating as a concept: people falling in love with or being infatuated with the forces that oppress them and ultimately want to kill and destroy them.
  • Check out our page on his song The State


Luke Tatum

Another impressive piece by Derek Webb. I had to listen to this a few times to decide how I felt about it. I'll say this first: I like the beginning more than I like the end. "Building a house on the limb" and needing "something that could stop a war" is a noble pursuit, but there are warhawks roosting in this tree. So, there's this weird facet of living in the modern world: You want peace for all, yet the noise around you is all pro-war propaganda. From school pep rallies to the Pledge of Allegiance, from the historical treatment of America's warmaking to the machinations of the mainstream media. The acceptable range of opinions for true peacemakers starts at suspicion and ends at contempt. Acceptance is off the table. "So I lie to everyone." And as we all know, lies repeated often enough and over a long enough stretch of time start to become our own truth. We indoctrinate ourselves to avoid the social pressure of not being accepted. All this, and we haven't even left the first stanza. Worth spending some serious time with this one!

Sherry Voluntary

"This soft and moody song covers a lot of ground, but these lyrics stood out for me.

“Please take your hands off my brother. Please take your laws off my lover. The agents of law should always be blind and on time. Till there's freedom for everyone.”

While we don’t currently have a draft, “hands on my brother,” and gay marriage is currently legal, “laws off my lover,” this song illustrates how laws and morality get tangled up for most people. It’s never ok, to kidnap people and force them into servitude, and it’s not ok to tell grown folks who they can marry, but many people make excuses for those things when laws are in effect that allow or forbid those things. Take marriage for example. Right now, homosexuals can marry, but there are still laws against polygyny and polyandry and any other relationship models involving more than two people. While many Americans may see non-monogamy as immoral, there are a significant amount of people who choose to have different arrangements. Many who are against non-monogamy often use the excuse that children are harmed by non-monogamous arrangements, but ignore all of the evidence of harm done to perfectly healthy non-traditional families by having to hide and keep secrets about who they are. One of the major needs amongst people is a lesson in getting back to MYOB, Mind Your Own Business. Laws should never be used to legislate an individual's morality, only to seek damages and make people whole for real violations of rights. Legality will never equal morality, and laws are not the arbiters of what is right and wrong. That must be understood in order to get the proper place of law in society."

Nicky P

One hundred percent this song is about the hypocrisy of war. I think its especially meaningful because Webb was deep in the christian culture during the direct post-9/11 era. He without doubt attended churches and functions where his compatriots were absolutely calling for evil things on innocents who's only crime was not being born under the protection of our borders. I came of age right after 9/11 so literally my entire adult life has been listening to the hypocrisy flexed whenever someone talks about their faith and in the same breath says we need to turn the middle east to glass. I'm not sure how these people beleived they could create a democracy with the children of a generation of slain men. The idea they they wouldn't grow up with vengeance in their hearts is laughable if not entirely tragic.I can't help but think this song in particular sums up the album titles meaning to Webb. The Government clearly oppresses us and uses our wealth to make enemies for us.

Created By
Nicky P

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