Thursday, June 25, 2015


I've never been much of a patriot. Nationalism really turns me off. It's like religion. If one proclaims his or her allegiance to a particular country or belief system it is at the cost of leaving all others behind. I may have been born a Presbyterian American, but this is just luck of the draw.  I will never own this as my identity. Growing up in the 50's and 60's, we were not so removed from the swastika or the hammer and sickle, both great graphics that connoted extreme nationalistic evil. The more benign stars and stripes was always referred to with reverence, as an example of "good" triumphing over "evil". We saluted and pledged our allegiance to that red, white and blue piece of cloth hanging in the corner of every American classroom. I never thought much about it......until the 60's.
    When Vietnam came along the lines were drawn. Abbie Hoffman made the flag into a suit of protest and for the first time I saw it for what it was- a battle flag. Just like the debate that now rages in the wake of the horrific killings in SC, Old Glory is a just as much a symbol of hatred, genocide and occupation as it ever was. I'm all for removing that rebel crap from government property. Only I would take it one step further. Take down Betsey. But what would our flag be, you ask? Personally I liked the Brooklyn Bridge bleached flags that those German artists installed last year. But an even better idea would be to have no flag. Imagine how a Native American feels about seeing that "American" flag, after having an entire culture systematically annihilated under that flowing banner. The south may have had a slave economy the longest, but this country was built with Black, Brown, Yellow and Red slave labor. God Bless Nowhere. We are all complicit.


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