It seems that there are a lot of issues with flags these days. People standing holding them, or wrapping them about themselves, or saying that one or another should come down from public places and not be seen again. I think it is important to remember that flags are symbols of ideology. That is, they demonstrate adeherence by a person or a group of persons to a certain set of beliefs.
Flags are not about individuality. They are about saying, “I am in this group.” When you say you are in a certain group, you automatically exclude others who are not in the group, and that’s where the problem lies for me. I am tired of countries. I am tired of causes. I am interested in humanity as a whole. I believe that all people have value, that their thoughts and dreams have value. By flying a flag you invite others who believe in that particular symbol to join you, and you push others with different beliefs away. There is no opportunity for conversation. There is only right and wrong. Attitudes are already formed by the symbol, and sides are taken. That is not what we need in this world. What we need is discussion, or even argument, but when you prop up a flag and say “this is it for me” there is no more discussion, only lines that have already been formed by the symbol and the ideology. The end result is, of course, blind obedience, and the “F-word”: Fascism.
It is the day before the fourth of July, and there will be flags and bunting and banners and lights and fireworks, and those are all wonderful celebrations of the freedom of American people. I have been known to fly an American flag, and I do feel patriotic. I love my country. On this holiday I would like to tell people what America means to me, and that is freedom. It is a country where people came to be free in their beliefs. We didn’t have a flag when this country was formed. It came later, when our forefathers had to fight to keep the land they had taken for their own, and it was necessary to have a rallying symbol against the outsiders who wanted to take it from them. In the years since, we have learned that there is no perfect system, or perfect country. There is only one perfect thing in the world. It is life itself, and life doesn’t fly any flag. It just lives.