Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Flag is not a Decoration; its a Declaration.

Someone asked me "Why do you still have that up? It's October!" I looked over to see what they were referencing. It was my large, wooden American flag strung up over the balcony in front of my house.

Here is why I have it up. The answer is not just for this single person, but for the many people in America who seem to think that patriotism is 'getting into the Christmas spirit' or putting on a costume for Halloween. Do you think that American flags are simply decor for the first week of July? Are you someone who is texting and laughing and sitting during the National Anthem ? If you are, you may benefit from reading the following quote.  "In a democracy, all citizens have equal rights and equal obligations. When the nation is in peril, the obligation of saving it should be shared by all, not foisted on a small percentage." - Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson 1944  This is a democracy.  Am I patriotic because my husband is in the army or did I marry someone in the army because I am patriotic? I don't know.  Probably the former because my perspective has changed considerably since we have been married and even since he has been deployed.  

The military takes up only 1% of the population. You don't want to join? That's fine, you don't have to.  However, putting a yellow ribbon sticker on your bumper isn't actually going to support the troops any more than 'liking' a picture on Facebook is going to adopt a slew of orphaned children in Sudan.  That's not to say that I don't appreciate when I see yellow ribbons because I assure you, I do appreciate it. I appreciate it immensely because it helps me feel like I am not alone in the world, BUT I hope that the display of the ribbon is a reflection of one's attitude and genuine support of troops. 

But back to the flag.

 I have my flag up because America is not a holiday; America is my home. Patriotism is not seasonal for me; it is a way of life.
Yes, it is October. The flag is not there because I was too lazy or negligent to take it down after the Fourth of July. It's there because I am proud to be an American (despite the many flaws that currently seem to poison the land). I am proud to be an American and I believe in America and I will keep my flag up year round. 

If it were just one person saying this type of comment, I would likely brush it off, but too many people, (good, nice wonderful people) that I have met lately, seem to share this strange mentality wherein America is a holiday or a season. If you find that you have felt or behaved this way, you should try to change and keep your patriotism year round because America needs us and we need it. Indifference is taking our country down dangerous paths. Decide to care about America even if the first step is as simple as buying an American flag for your own place of residence.

Her- "Why do you have that up? Its October!" 
Me- "Because this is still America, even in October."

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