Happy Flag Day

It’s an under-appreciated holiday.  Take some time, roll some bocce, fire  up the grill.  Enjoy a little rant I wrote in the local university newspaper a few years ago on the futility of both flag-burning as a political statement and denouncing those who do it despite the fact that doing one lends creedence to the other.
Flag Day

My view: flag burning is a self-aggrandizing, unproductive burlesque that ultimately undermines whatever issue the action is intended to protest. It’s the polemic equivalent of a toddler’s tantrum. The irony of flag-burning is that the act itself reinforces the very ideals our flag is intended to represent while, ironically, providing fuel (so to speak) that feeds the fiery rhetoric of the hysterically patriotic. In burning our flag, one may be voicing his or her dissatisfaction or opposition, but he or she is likewise making a very profound demonstration of the the freedoms we are supposed to, but don’t always, enjoy. Better to target our anger at those whose actions fail to live up to those ideals, who misuse the trust and power commended to them, than the symbol these despoilers stain.

By JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels, growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.

4 replies on “Happy Flag Day”

As a Canadian it’s difficult to understand the flag burning thing. It’s not something that even really comes up in conversation. Then again, our nationalism is generally quiet— strong, but quiet. We are The True North Strong and Free after all! 😉 But we seem to take more overt pride in our Moose populations than we do in our flag. It is, of course, very useful emblazoned on a rucksack when travelling, that’s for sure.

Anyways, In the US the flag is a huge deal. It is a representation of all that is American: the constitution, the country, the military, the people, the government… everything. It is not just a representation, it *is* America. So it could almost be considered the effigy of all effigies in some abstract way. I get the irony of burning the flag. But I suppose no matter which side of any protest you are on, the flag may just be the most potent ‘representation’ to burn. Especially on the day it is celebrated.


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