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Why does the flag matter?

December 2, 2016

There is another social media riot going on over American flags.

Burning the flag is the trending way to make an “I hate America” statement.  Not very original, but trending nonetheless.

Given the efforts by the liberal left to undermine the country over the past 25 years in general and the last eight in particular, it’s easy to view flag-burning as just another one of those annoying temper tantrums by the brain-dead, diaper-pin generation.

It’s just a piece of cloth, right?

Wrong.

If the last eight years have been about nothing else, it’s been about dividing a nation.

The election focused on identity politics, but you can’t have that theme unless you have worked very hard to create the identities.

It’s quite interesting to sit back and note that the people driving racial, ethnic, religious and gender wedges into the nation are not the old, rich white guys, but the former working man’s party…the Democrats.

The sickening part of that is, they aren’t doing for the betterment of anyone but themselves.

If you really want to know how little all that crap really matters, listen to servicemen talk about their combat experiences.

You are not going to hear “Well, I kept the bad guys from shooting Joe because he’s white, but I didn’t defend Mike, because he’s black.”

We could use a bit more of that foxhole mentality throughout the country.

Several things define a nation, and the symbol of those things, at least here, is the flag.

Of course there are other things.  A common language, a common sense of purpose, a common sense of unity, all those things are important to connect us, but the symbol that ties them all together is the flag.

Does that mean that the flag alone can make everything right again?  No.

But flag destruction is a visible way to repudiate all the principles upon which this country is founded.

When you burn a flag you are saying that you want to live under a different set of rules.

The thing about America is that we haven’t quit trying to make this whole democracy thing work for everyone.

If that means you have to put out a little bit more effort to succeed, or open your mind to a universal set of values, or look beyond skin color or country of origin to discern a person’s core beliefs and yes, even dare to set a higher standard of character for yourself and others, that’s OK.

Whether it’s a considered action or not, every time a flag is burned the people involved are essentially saying they don’t want to succeed, as individuals and as a nation.

We don’t always get it right, but the flag is the symbol of why we have never quit trying to achieve the country our founding fathers envisioned.

It matters.

From → op-ed

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