By: Doc Jeffurious Higgason
Throughout elementary school I was taught that the American Flag was the end all and be all of national deities. I remember the crackly and warbled sounding filmstrips they would show us about the majesty of George Washington and the miracle of Betsey Ross. All that was benevolent was contained in those stars and stripes.
By the time I had reached the age of 19, I couldn’t help but notice the flag was in many ways a contradiction. I had seen it used as a blanketing symbol of unity, a familiar sort of face for us to look towards when we needed encouragement the most. I have also seen it used to stir up hate, a prop to be burned or mangled to incite ire. It’s disrespectful and disobedient to burn a flag or let it touch the ground. Yet, some folks don’t give it a second thought to purchase Stars and Stripes toilet paper to wipe their tight little buns. See what I am saying?
There was a time our flag was an international icon of fairness and excellence.
Now here we are in the new millennium. The icon is a bit tarnished. Yet, I am still proud of its original designation as a reminder of the people who lost lives in war and in the streets. A little reminder, that at one time there was an idea of all men being created equal. I guess maybe my question is; what would Ben Franklin think of our American Flag?
By: Kidman J. Williams
I believe in what the American flag stands for. It stands for the people of this nation. It waves in the wind for the equality of all the people who live in these great United States of America despite the writers’ idea of equality back in 1776; even though we are so far from being “united” in this present day and time.
We are the great melting pot! I’d like to see that happen one day without people kicking and screaming, tarnishing Old Glory’s stars and stripes every time someone has a different view than another group of people. The foundation of this country was based upon the great differences of the people. Now, many of the people look at other races, sexual preferences, religious views, our unalienable rights and original ideas as some kind of hindrance to our country. These are the things that made out nation the big middle finger to the King and Queen of England and made people around the world want to be here!
When I am sitting in some field this Fourth of July with my child, woman, friends and thousands of others from many different backgrounds looking up at the fireworks lighting up the canvas of the night sky I will look at it with delight knowing that one day the American flag will stand tall and inspire greatness from all walks of life that live under her.
By: Eric Rubelmann
It’s a symbol. And I leave symbols to the symbol-minded
Oh there’s a lot of controversy over the flag. Controversy over a piece of cloth! And it’s not even rare. It’s on almost every suburban house and every SUV Crossover in America. And really it’s an ideal. It’s not something you should be able to buy for $10.95 at Walgreens with road flares and Vaseline. It should be something special that you keep in your heart. That you take out and wave for people that deserve it; like you do your pecker whenever you see that girl with the gimp leg limp pass your cubicle.
Here’s the thing folks. The American Flag is more than cloth. It’s an ideal that shouldn’t be able to be destroyed by protests and shitty art. And if it is then maybe we should reconsider just what it is we are doing here. I have an idea for a flag. All white banner. The words “Love everyone or SHUT THE FUCK UP” written over and over again in the hand writing of a hundred five year olds because they get that concept.
By: Katie Callen
I am proud to say I am American. I will march with the flag in my hand and speak out with vengeance on those who step on or burn the flag. Many men have died, many women have cried. Too much talk on loss of rights, loss of freedom, and the loss of the people’s voice in this nation. The fault is on you for sitting back and muttering in low voice of discontent. The only point being produced is hate and separation of the human race as a whole.
The red, white, and blue; a well known symbol to the world and every person in the USA means to me a chance to quest for my liberties, to speak my mind, and to be happy and free. The price that has been paid for far too long by far too many brave men and women, who gave up everything to give us, a nation of people, a chance to live, think, and love free. It’s time we stand together as one before we destroy our own selves’ and our land. Sure this ‘ol nation has her faults, but there are far less desirable lands of no freedom to live in.
By: Cody S. Decker
There are a few words that immediately pop into my head when I see Old Glory. I would have to say that Pride, Respect, Hope and Sadness are probably the front runners. I gush with Pride when I see our flag flying high, whether it be from scenes of a battlefield or in a front yard. I Respect those who have lived proudly, fought bravely and sacrificed more than we can even begin to comprehend just to protect our ideals and way of life. I’m Sad when I see our flag flying at half mast. I’m Sad when I see and hear so many that think so little of this wonderful country that we all call home.
That’s when I fall back on hope. I hope that we can change what we need to change and keep what we need to keep in order for this country to always be the best in every shape, form or fashion. I know this country isn’t perfect, there’s a lot that needs to be straightened out. I just always keep in mind that there are a lot of other countries that are far worse off than we are. It takes time. Not every roll of the dice is a winner.
By: Donnie Casto II
“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.“
– Oscar Wilde
The United States of America will turn 239 years old on July 4th. Of those 239 years, we as a nation have been in a state of war for 222 of those years. That banner of cloth that so many have embraced as the symbol of freedom and the living representation of our rights and liberties, the entity of worship and adulation defining freedom all over the world, has fallen quite short in a post 9/11 America. Maybe the flag has fallen asleep, deaf to the proverbial alarm clock that many Americans who refuse to compromise their natural rights in the name of security have tried to awaken it to.
Bottom line, these flag worshippers believe that flag defines and grants freedom to others, but God forbid you, the informed American exercise that very same freedom yourself. Freedom and liberty mean everything to me. The façade worship of a piece of cloth, made overseas enabling that freedom? That friends, is utter bullshit! If that flag truly means what these demagogues like John Carlson believed it did, certainly they’d ensured it here domestically to people who truly wanted it, before cramming it down the gullets of others who never asked for it.
By: Aramie Vas
There was a time when we learned a great lie. Perhaps it wasn’t a lie as much as indoctrination. Liberty and justice for all. We were young when we learned to pledge our allegiance not to all living beings, but instead to the idea of a nation. We learned to cover our hearts and rise in unison to a certain tune and the words were meaningless. Parroted fragments.
We would learn how the fabric of the American Flag was better and brighter, more filled with promise, glory and the love of many gods. We were meant to see our own freedom, when we pledged. We told the shameful stories of hurt and hate, families and friends, great leaders and elders who were killed and broken that this land was leashed to a flag. We told it like it was the way of progress. And our hearts were still covered, and we all still moved in unison each morning to repeat empty words to broken promises and fabric symbol of difficulty and shame. We sent loved ones to fight for the words they’d spoken and when they too were scarred, killed and broken we said they broke for glory. We tied them to greatness with our words, not with our actions. Many warriors starved. We spoke a lot about our greatness. We spoke about the tyranny of others. The flag waved with good intentions, and protection for only some. All people were not free. We celebrated with picnics, and lit up the air, where it will stay awash with color, death and spectacle until nationalism is dead.