About that Flag

Here I go: the symbol must always take a back seat to making sure that what it stands for is thriving. We get so lost in the posturing, in posing as we think we should look if we are patriotic, that we forget to be patriotic: like standing up for the power of the people and not just that of those we agree with. If we get too far on one side of the political spectrum, we are likely to run into people who oppose us and encounter realities starkly different from our own (woven together out of different sets of “facts”) and when we cannot even agree on facts, then chances are that both parties are in an isolated political vacuum. Knowing where WE stand depends on our actually desiring to understand the position of those we disagree with. We must RELATE with those with whom we disagree. Too often we merely shout our opposing beliefs in an effort to drown out any sense that there is an opposition, or at least one of much merit.

I sailed the oceans in defense of this nation and I stood for the rights of people to differ from I in both word and deed. In that sense, patriotism has, to me, always been about the vision of America as a crucible of the world’s movers and shakers, a mixing pot wherein world peace is an aspiration, acted out and not just talked about. Many do not agree with me on this. That is their right, too. My patriotism extends beyond just this nation, though, and becomes philosophy, as a result, applicable to all. Who am I to say another is unworthy of attempting to contribute to this dream?

Patriotism of this kind ought never be cheapened by wrapping all its meaning into a mere piece of cloth. Let us not disassociate from it in this way but, rather, live it.

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One Response to “About that Flag”

  1. It should also be noted that a flag that includes and welcomes others to strive with us in search of a higher order is a flag whose symbolism has been vested so by the intent of its adherents. If a flag is exclusive (as nearly all are) then it is doing no one any good. Flags are usually representative of a form of nationalism and all nationalism is exclusive, i.e. I belong here and so and so does not.

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