Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Follow the Flag Together

Between now and Election Day, we will hear every single person seeking office in these United States of America invoke the flag in support of whatever it is they are advocating.

That is their right, just as it is mine to arch my right eyebrow and aim a caustic comment or two (I get them by the gross, they're much cheaper that way) in their general direction, certainly no longer in the hope of dissuading them or any adherent from pursuing a particular course of action I'd rather they not, but because it's hygienic and perhaps therapeutic for my own mental state.

I, along with millions of the others since before this nation was a nation, have served in its armed forces, worn its uniform, followed the lawful orders of those placed in leadership positions and done as best I could what was expected of me in defense of my country and my family. In recent days, we've had horrible and ample proof of the importance of defining and defending both in the broadest sense possible.

The American flag is a symbol of that nation and means to each of us what we wish to see in it when we look to it. Today is Flag Day and we are going to hear a lot about 'the flag' and 'our country' before we make decisions this November about who we are and who we shall continue to be.

I think of Carl Schurz's words about "my country" and how far too often pseudo-patriots have selectively edited and condensed/corrupted his words to support their own agenda.

Here's all of it in one place: "(O)ur free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”

It doesn't fit in a tweet from a twit so you rarely if ever hear the whole quote in much the same way as we use the flag to cover a multitude of venalities. Today, Flag Day, it's good to remember our flag shouldn't be a prop of personal or political posturing but rather a symbol of our nation's resolve and unity.
-bill kenny

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