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Flags, Freedom, and Finesse

On the way in to work today, one of the local war supporters on the radio made a very good point: It doesn't matter whether you're for or against the war, if you're American it's your flag too. Don't let only the pro-war people claim the flag, and the patriotism it symbolises.

This is right. It's what happened in the Vietnam war, when the antiwar people let anti-war become synonymous with anti-American, anti-military and anti-flag. The fact that protest against the government is part of the American heritage, and is, in fact, embedded in the Constitution as the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights means that it's our flag too!

Quite frankly, I support our troops - and that means not wasting their lives on wars of adventure and conquest for some smarmy group of neocon chickenhawks. They signed up to do a job - defend the country - and going traipsing around in the desert to depose a two bit failure of a dictator is not what I call defending my country! (Yes, I realise that it's strategically better to defend your real estate by making sure that the "enemy" never gets off someone elses real estate, but the Iraqi's really aren't the enemy, they're just targets of convenience.)

I am an American, born and raised in the country. I do not want to see our flag raised over some foreign city that we've conquered out of spite, just because they were different, had some resource that our corporations wanted, or would give some smarmy political group a leg up on the next election. That is worse to me than urinating and defecating on the flag in public.

I do not want to see my flag waved about as part and parcel of a lie sold wholesale to an unsuspecting public, a lie that conflates Saddam Hussein with Osama BinLaden. They aren't the same. One is merely a bullying, asshole dictator, and the other is an international criminal mastermind who deliberately launched an unprovoked attack on our country. I want Osama BinLaden's head on a pike, but Hussein is, properly, the problem of the Iraqis themselves.

So yes, protesters should fly the flag, at half mast, in mourning for those Americans killed by Bush's little adventure in imperialism.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2003 04:23 pm (UTC)

I've already gotten my redneck hillbilly neighbour to put his flag at half mast.

Fighting against war is no easier than fighting in war, but we have to do it. For the same reasons they're killing and dying for.
Apr. 1st, 2003 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'd thought of flying the flag upside-down, the old distress symbol, as a protest, but it got a bad connotation back in the Vietnam era. What worries me is that the flag is being used as part and parcel of an evolving mindset that gives me the willies. Rather the way you wondered, after 9/11, if you might have your house vandalized if you *didn't* fly the flag. I hate subversion of national symbols.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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