Monday, June 14, 2021

Flag Day 2021

Recently, I read a comment on the internet about how the individuals who display the American flag the most tend to be the least democratic of us. It's really a shame, because, from a graphic design standpoint, Old Glory is magnificent, standing out from a sea of tricolors in striking fashion. As far as flags go, only the Union Jack, also a symbol fraught with negative connotations, is comparable.  I have a small collection of American flags, salvaged from roadsides during the post-9/11 visible patriotism boom while I was riding my bicycle to and from work.  One of these flags is permanently displayed in my apartment, and another one graces my office at work.

How do we non-authoritarians and non-jingoists reclaim this symbol, especially since it has stood for imperialism since practically Day One?   Sadly, America has not lived up to its lofty ideals very well.  It's about time we decided to embody the values we claim to espouse in our founding documents, to cease letting oligarchs use the power of our government to benefit a tiny minority of individuals. 

There's a quote falsely attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville: "America is great because America is good. If America ever stops being good, it will stop being great." This quote is as ersatz as the idea of American goodness, but I'm willing to try to put it to the test, the only problem is that people who claim to want to make America great usually make America badder. I'm hoping that there will be an effort to make America good, perhaps by exporting soft power once more- the effort to export vaccines to needful countries might be a good start.

ADDENDUM:  Buzz Aldrin has a thing to say about this banner, which graced the surface of the Moon:

 

 Let's make it a proud symbol, and ourselves a people worthy of it.

6 comments:

Richard said...

Danger symbol. Danger. It is possible to speak Spanish around that, hay peligro. Until they learn better ways, it would be best if these fukkin Yankees would take a break and quit flying that stupid flag.

Al said...

Hey Buzz! Go sell your patriotic flag waving bullshit to the 20 million people the USA is responsible for killing around the planet since FDR died.

Ali Redford said...

Well, I remember feeling especially embarrassed about the US flag between 2002 and 2003. Bill Moyers wrote an essay during that time, emphasizing that it's our flag, too (meaning peacemongers, people-feeders, and other such.) We observe the flag-flying days by flying one here at the Redford manse, but we wouldn't do it if we hadn't read that back then. I did a short search for a link and didn't find it (though I'm sure it's still there,) but I found this recent one by Lynn Scherr: https://billmoyers.com/story/flags-bigger-patriotic-myths/

It sounds like you're your usual well-adjusted self about it, but I thought I'd pipe up here.

old umpire said...

I fly my flag every day. I was the boy who raised the flag in grade school, as a Boy Scout, and continue. I am a PROUD Social Democrat, Veteran, and Patriot.
Fuck those who drag or Flag, and our Country in the dirt.

old umpire said...

ou flag-sorry

Richard said...

Old umpire, my problem is not with you.
I live in a part of the world where people come to visit and see beautiful landscapes. They hope to see Mormons and cowboys and Indians.
Of course we honor the flag. We do it voluntarily.
We wave that flag about on Memorial Day, on the 4th, on Flag Day, on Pioneer Day (24th July).
We observe Veterans Day.
We remember. We do not worship a flag or any religion or political party.