Photo: Anthony Moretti 11Jun2017
I’m always amused when I come across someone who believes he or she is a real and patriotic American simply because that person proudly displays the U.S. flag.
It doesn’t matter whether that flag is flown outside the home, worn on a piece of clothing or shown on a lapel pin because the message often is the same: I’m patriotic, and anyone who doesn’t show love of country in the same way is less American than I am.
“America. Love it or leave it.” That’s another phrase this crowd is quick to utter.
I could make a rather strong case that protesting against war is a better display of loyalty. I could also argue that supporting everyone’s exercise of religion, including choosing to practice no religion, is a better display of loyalty. I might also be showing real loyalty when I suggest that discrimination is inconsistent with America’s values.
Loyalty to country is not based on displays of flags or blind devotion. Loyalty is displayed by upholding the law; demanding that political, business and other leaders put country before profit; voting; defending the country against all enemies; and respecting, though when necessary questioning, America’s institutions. (You can add to the list.)
Moreover, and the irony is not lost on me, often these are the same people who believe questioning the government is inappropriate when their candidate or issue is being criticized; and yet they are the first to see evil afoot when the opposition is in control.
Something about a Muslim president, anyone? But don’t dare ask about you-know-who and that really large country that used to be under communist rule.
Wave your flag, if you wish. There’s nothing wrong with that. But please stop with the attitude that doing so makes you more American than others.