I'm not the most patriotic person in the world, but I like the looks of an American flag hanging on a house..especially in a small town like this. It brings back images like those I remember in "The Music Man" or "Pollyanna." Through an accident of birth I am American, and though I wish my ancestors had stayed in Canada, where I feel I belong, there's nothing I can do about it. Now Canada will not have me, and I can't say that I blame them. The flag is more a decoration to me than a symbol of my allegiance. Although Obama's election briefly made me hopeful that being American could be something to be proud of, I realize he is only one man without enough power. Money, personal wealth, power, drives everything. Selfishness, obnoxiousness, and diregard for others are national characteristics.
Anyway.......... My garden, ahead of the season, begs for a flag to complete the picture of what might be, or used to be, or could be, and lives only in dreams. When I took down the old, tattered one, I left it in a pile on the front walk while I put up the new one. It crossed my mind that someone who values that piece of cloth might be offended. Once I got the new one installed and stood back to admire it, I saw I had hung it upside down. I had to redo the whole job, not an easy feat. I've always found it to be bizarre that a ritual surrounds the disposal of the flag, that dessecration of the flag is an unspeakable act. It would be as if shooting a picture of the president is the same as shooting the man himself. I never could understand the point, or even the existence of, team loyalty no matter what. It can be conjured up for no reason at all by rousing cheers and the waving of banners.
Well, there are a lot of ways to feel and act. The way I feel has no bearing on anything as I sit here and write, having folded the old flag and placed it somewhat ceremoniously in the trash can. Contrary to the way I felt before I had lived as long as I have, I really believe one way is as good as another. Was I a better person when I was moved to tears every time I heard the "Star Spangled Banner?"