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Why I Don’t Fly The American Flag

July 4, 2012

So it is the Fourth of July, a day for BBQ’s, parades, and hanging out Old Glory.  But, wait.  I look around my neighborhood and there are very few houses with an American Flag flowing in the breeze.  Oh, and there is not one on my house.

Since the flag is a symbol of the United States of America and our country’s strength and unity, shouldn’t there be a flag on every house, including mine?

Originally our flag was designed to represent the first thirteen colonies and our independence from the tyranny imposed by the British.  The thirteen stripes stood for each of the original colonies, the stars on a blue background were symbolic of a new constellation, the red stripes reminding us of the hardiness and valor it took to gain our freedom, the white standing for purity and innocence. 

All of what our flag represents, the hardiness, the valor, the purity, the innocence, the newness, the strength, and the unity should make all of us fly a flag at every opportunity.  But we don’t, I don’t.  Why?

Since the late sixties the meaning of flying an American flag has changed, at least for me,.  Although the term “Love It or Leave It” was used prior to this time by Walter Winchell, it became a popular rant against the “Make Love Not War” protesters of the Vietnam War.  The flag became a symbol of the love it or leave it mentality that said if you question or disagree with the way things are going get out. A complete contradiction to the ideals that founded our country and brought about our flag in the first place.  Our nation was forged on freedom of thought , speech, and healthy debates that led to us being unified as a country.

Today it seems we can’t have a rational discussion about anything. Take an issue and there are those on one side and those on the Imageother, neither one willing to listen much less compromise on how to handle or resolve the issue.  Be it abortion, immigration, health care, government control, taxing the rich, or any other issue where we can’t seem to find a middle ground.

Caught in the middle of this division is our flag. The symbol of strength and unity has become a symbol for division.  Right vs left, fundamentalist vs moderate, pro-life vs pro-choice, hawks vs doves. One side claiming the flag as the symbol of the only way to truly be an American. The love it or leave it mentality is stronger than ever.

One can love this country and still question, be pro-choice, be moderate, be behind make love not war, be willing to discuss rationally the issues facing us.

When the flag once again represents all of us, our combined strength, our unity as a people, our willingness to work together for the common good then you just might see Old Glory hanging by my door.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Betty permalink
    July 5, 2012 1:02 pm

    I have never been a flag waiver. I am against war and sometimes embarrased to be an American. Just yesterday on the news, vets from WWII were being interviewed and I made the comment to my husband that it seems we are alwasy involved in a war somewhere. His comment was it is human nature. That my be true, but I am tired of America being the policeman of the world. Our country is in such a mess that all the money spent on war needs to be kept here. However, with all of this being said, I don’t think that I could live anywhere else, What other country would let me say all of this without repercussions. It would be nice to have free healthare, though

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