Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Flag Day

June 14 is Flag Day. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Flag Day was arranged by a teacher in Wisconsin, and later made into an official holiday by President Harry Truman in 1949.

I don't particularly believe in saluting a flag, or in the Pledge of Allegiance, or the singing of the National Anthem, mainly because its idolatry, but also because in an atmosphere that routinely steps on the things the flag, pledge, and anthem are supposed to stand for, and I try not to be hypocritical. That being said, I offer this.

I am an American. I am an American-born woman of African descent, who is also a lesbian. I don't take it for granted that I couldn't be any of those things publicly in many countries, and I am grateful that I can be who I am where I am. I am patriotic in that in all of its imperfection, America does present opportunities for people to do what they want, when they want, and how they want as long as it is within the law and doesn't harm anyone else. I am also patriotic in that I exercise my right to say what I want, even if it differs from commonly held or acceptable views.

Let's reflect on Flag Day, not so much as an opportunity to worship the flag, but as a chance to remember that Americans aren't just White Christian middle-class heterosexuals. Be all that you are, whoever you are.

By the way, check out the CS Monitor article. It's all about flags, and it's neat that they look at the flags that fly over countries with Black and Brown populations. Just ignore the colonial past.


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