For the past seven-odd years, the renewed sense of patriotism has irritated me more than the Bush administration alone. More than the country songs (I can always change the channel) or FOX reports (because why would I watch FOX?) there is one sore more frequent and painful than herpes on a hooker: the American flag.
I admire what it was meant to represent—the idea that America means freedom, tolerance, acceptance. These days, however, it seems the general public has turned it into some post-911 redneck misconception of “nationalism.” A tattered flag flying from the side mirror is not a symbol of patriotism. A sticker on a grease-streaked windshield is not a sign of pride. The flag you fly in front of your home (mobile or otherwise) should be reserved for certain holidays—we call that tradition, after all. And leaving it out in the rain: aren’t there laws against that?
To treat the stars and stripes in this matter seems to disrespect it more than honor its significance. The flag loses its meaning; it is no longer sacred. It was supposed to represent the principles upon which our nation was founded: no, not the slaughter of those here before us, but independence. So next time you wave your little flags and sing the Star Spangled Banner, think about our Constitution and the work our founding fathers did to create the America you supposedly love today.
Maybe this is why so many yupsters threaten to move to Canada.
I eagerly await your hate mail.