The earliest recognizable American flag - or the thing that it became - was created 235 years ago. Yet its meanings continue to shift and change as patriotism and the country are constantly redefined.

Right now, political commentators feel that the USA is undergoing something of a crisis of confidence, which means that book cover designers are staring at that star-spangled banner for inspiration related to the many, many titles written about the state of the nation.

Here are six recent books whose designers have adapted the red, white and blue into a visual metaphor of their subject matter. Seen others? Let us know in the comments.

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