The irony is dramatic irony. In "Nothing But The Truth" Phillip had to leave his other school because he brought a complaint against the teacher for not letting him hum the "Star Spangled Banner" during the opening of each day. Phillip did it just to make the teacher mad, but when he got into trouble his family, the community, and the press all got involved. He was labeled a patriot. When he got to the new school, he had to admit that he didn't even know the words to the song that he fought so hard to sing. Phillip wasn't really a patriot, he didn't even know the words to the National Anthem. "By the end of Nothing but the Truth, the idealistic teacher is able to see through the district superintendent's lies. Philip, on the other hand, seems not to have grown at all. His crying and saying that "I don't know the words" are indicative of self-pity, not personal understanding. "