A Symbol to Unite

One of the small historical details that I have an increasing amount of admiration for is Dr. King’s use of the flag as a part of his movement. At a time when Black people were segregated, discriminated against, spat on, and hosed down by police, Dr. King marched with the flag. He understood that the values the flag represented were larger and more transformative than the issues of the time… That through proper alignment with those values would come unity, equality, freedom, and justice for all.

Many have made the kneeling issue a veteran/KIA issue. And while I am personally sympathetic to that argument, I have to remind myself that the flag is bigger than that. So instead, I view this contraversy as a proxy battle stemming from a much deeper problem: The general feeling, real or perceived, that many in the country are disgusted by the flag.

You see it in videos of flag burnings. You see it when black clad mobs suppress people carrying flags. You see it in the revisionist histories being preached by academia that highlight and emphasize America’s shortfalls while ignoring America’s triumphs. You see it every time someone calls the flag a symbol of oppression. You see it when a political candidate says “America was never great”. Against this backdrop, its easier for many to view the kneeling protests as a stunt that does more damage than good.

The flag is supposed to be something we all agree on. Something we all unite behind. Violating the social rituals associated with the flag in order to further your cause may seem admirable in the short-term, but have we counted the cost? In an age where everyone is divided by race, sex, religion, politics, social class, and every other way you can arbitrarily divide humans, we are in desperate need of something to unite us.

One thought on “A Symbol to Unite

  1. WW3…at this point I think that we are beyond the point of “no return” as it pertains to a sense of nationalism, or any semblance of unity. Only a large scale war which would force us to sacrifice as a whole will bring us together. We are too far polarized. On one side we have an expansive percentage of citizens who now view America as some sort of evil. That type of mentality has been allowed to grow and flourish within our own borders as a long period of peace has provided them with the means to do so. Ingratitude, entitlement, greed, and selfishness have permeated a large portion of the American psyche…because we have been spoiled by such a lengthy time of relative peace and prosperity. We need an event which not only rattles our cage, but knocks us upside the jawbone and wakes us up. Human beings will always easily forget the price that was paid to get them to where they now are. By no means am I advocating, or wishing for war…but unfortunately that is what history says it takes. This is exactly why I moved to Alaska…I want to be as far away from the rats as possible once the ship starts taking on some serious water. I can barely watch the news anymore…it just angers me.

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