Are Only Some Americans Allowed to Fly the Flag?

Photo courtesy of patriciarossi.com

After 9/11, nearly every house on every block in America had the Stars and Stripes hanging next to their door. Today, there seem to be more about than usual as we’ve just concluded the 2012 Summer Olympic Games,  but why do some Americans let others monopolize the USA image? Why can’t I love my country and be a stalwart environmentalist? Why can’t I fly the Stars and Stripes and be vehemently opposed to the Patriot Act? I say I can. That’s part of what it means to be an American after all. The flag makes a statement. It doesn’t have to be one of global imperialism. It could be a pledge of civic responsibility. I don’t care to give a louder voice to a few Americans I don’t agree with (from whichever position). After all, I’m still implicated by them. I’m still accountable.  I want an equal share of voice. That’s the example I take from my good friends to the North. Holy smokes, do those people love their flag. Canadian flag beach chairs, Canadian flag backboards, red maple leaf pins everywhere. Have you ever been abroad? You might not know where everyone else is from, but you can spot a Canadian with their Canadian flag patch on their backpack from a mile away. Are they ethnocentric? Are they imperialists? Or do dissenters have a louder voice than do ours because they own their citizenship as much as their opposition, regardless of the hot topic issue or the party in power? I sing the Star Spangled Banner every time it’s played (and often when it’s not), I say the Pledge of  Allegiance, and I have a little American flag in my living room. There are parts of the American legacy of which I am very ashamed, and parts of which I’m extremely proud. But it wouldn’t matter if it was all one or the other because I am still  an American.

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4 thoughts on “Are Only Some Americans Allowed to Fly the Flag?

  1. I don’t know who says you can’t fly the American Flag I for one enourage it. I will say that I disagree with many of your other points and am a huge fan of the PATRIOT ACT. Furthermore, after working with the Canadians in Afghanistan your call to emulate them makes me laugh because I don’t think I was ever as upset with the American National Command Authority during two tours in Iraq as the Canadians were with theirs. And getting perspective from both the British and Aussie officers I worked for indicates that we are pretty damn patriotic almost to the point of fanatics. I was very proud of that mainly because it reconfirmed my belief that America is different and special.

    Then again I think sayings like “to save a village sometimes you have to destroy it.” Make perfect tactical and strategic sense.

    Gary L Barney
    CPT, AR

    “Tankers Lead the Way”

  2. Grif I feel like what you are failing to see the mass amounts of Americans who fly the flag simply to support the idea that you are allowed to have a different opinion then them. To group those that proudly show their American Pride into only those who disagree with you is rediculous. Sometimes, and I am not sure if this is the case here I feel that those of us who live in the northeast tend to loose the national perspective, but either way I will continue to fly the flag and most of the time disagree with you.

    1. “To group those that proudly show their American Pride into only those who disagree with you is rediculous [sic].”
      That’s exactly my point, Mr. Kwilos. People regardless of their political position, or where they live in this country (the Northeast as you say) should all have a civic commitment to this country.

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