Friday, July 4, 2008

The Stars and Gripes

OK. It's the 4th and an appropriate time for me to observe that my favorite African-American candidate for president is now sporting a flag lapel pin on his shiny suits. Now what's up with that? Every time I turn around, he's weaseling on what he said and did in the primaries. (Yesterday he allowed as to how he might "refine" his plans to pull out of Iraq in sixteen months . . . and then he "clarified" in a later speech that he had not changed his position: US troops out in 16 months.)

Here was a guy who during the primaries actually had to deal with the inane question by the inane media of why he didn't walk around flagged all the time. Was he not a patriot? I could look up what he said, but I don't have to. Basically it was: wearing a flag pin doesn't have anything to do with being a patriot. Hear, hear! Why should any of us have to accept the flag wavers' definition of patriotism? The word itself according to Mr. Webster means: "love for or devotion to one's country." Anybody with half a functioning brain knows that this includes a lot more than flag worship. Love of country for me means calling it to account for how far it's come from the ideals all these flag-waving patriots say this country stands for. And the fact is, the vast flag-waving majority could not even enumerate two or three the Bill of Rights amendments to the Constitution.

For the record, in case you might have missed my previous comments on this subject: I don't pledge allegiance to the flag, I don't sing the national anthem and I don't take off my hat or put my hand on my chest when others are singing it. I don't have a flag lapel pin, an American flag, or any artifact in my house with the flag on it. There are certainly enough flag-waving "patriots" around for all that. I'm with George Carlin, who also didn't worship the flag. It was just a symbol, he said, and he left it to the symbol-minded.
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