Soviet Union had encouraged to preserve national identities. There were serious efforts to preserve and maintain traditional crafts, languages and cultures. The sheer number of the peoples involved did serve as a mark of success and an unspoken invitation to others.
It’s in the quasi-totalitarian state that is the US the only language to be spoken on the civilised part of the country is only one and it’s English. Despite that the country was formed by English, German and French colonists (primarily), and despite that there are entire states, about which one can say, that they were formed by a single ethnicity (say, Germans), their traditions didn’t survive. They were evaporated. Diluted in the common boiling pot and vanished without a trace. If there are people, who still maintain their language and traditions, they either live in reservations detached from the civilised world, or they celebrate hanukkah. USA is not a totalitarian state, but it behaves much like one. It needs its people to have only one language – and all legislation is done only in English – not have any other national identity other than “American”. This is allowed only on a level of a fancy, so that you could come to a meeting and say “Hi, I’m Trevor, I bear 1/624 of Viking blood”. If you move there, you can be German/French/Pole only when your small diaspora gathers. Because the native people who moved hundreds of years ago speak English now. New Mexico was once all-Spaniard country. At the time it was included in the US, Alabama people send notes to the Congress against their union with New Mexico, because they spoke completely different languages, had different customs (specifically noted!) and New Mexicans even outnumbered them two to one. Now only 30% speak Spanish there. Anglos couldn’t care less about other people’s culture. There wasn’t even an effort to integrate this state as it is. Everything it had was simply declared obsolete, and to be replaced. An autonomy? Shut up! You are now obliged to speak English. Or fuck off to the desert.
A national identity is dangerous for any big country – be it a union or a federation – for it is like a scratch on the glass. If an outer force presses here, the glass may crack. So the smoother the glass is, the more it is solid. A flimsy structure is a pain to support and it doesn’t allow to pump money. This is why for Europe it’s safer to be separated. While it cannot be controlled from one centre, it may continue to develop safely. Unless people manage to wipe their own history and everything that differs between them, a solid union is impossible – there are too much cultural differences and differences in the national interests. But I hope that Europe will manage to pass through several centuries without destroying itself to the ground, and by that time all big states will crumble, the informational field would start to matter as much as the physical world, and the technological advance would make the size of your home country irrelevant. (I also believe, that the mentalities “smoothed” by a regime will grow unique by themselves, once you let them develop as they please).
European Union resembles USSR only in that it tries to unite peoples without wiping their national identities – like a tape put over a glass. The US way to deal with scratches is to scrape the entire layer from the glass with a dremel.
Finally, it’s an American habit to hang the union – not the state – flag outdoors. Notably is, that of all states only Texas values their own flag more or at least on par with the union flag.
“EUSSR”, my ass. Do you think, that US has been colonising Europe since 1945 to turn it into something indigestible for itself?