Capture The Flag
This morning while driving back from the mountains from a hike I saw a big ol' bubba truck (a common mountain sight) flying an American flag from the back, whipping patriotically next to his Trump bumper sticker. I laughed, painfully.
Our opponents have long claimed the American flag as their own, and everyone else has let them do so. The symbol, coupled with other classic American terms such as “patriot,” were co-opted in a deliberate attempt to paint everyone else as “Un-American.” A distaste for nationalism made this co-option easy. Uncomfortable with nationalism in the post-colonial world, many were content to let the flag be claimed with the assumption that the vicious “my country right or wrong” mentality would fade with time, tossed behind us in the march to a better world.
Unfortunately, nationalism is back and they took our flag.
As part of the fight we need to take that flag back. The values we are championing—peace, tolerance, democracy and personal self-determination—are more American than the values of our opponents, who see their dreams of American apartheid, one-party rule and endless war within their grasp. To show that we are the true conveyors of American values, we need to fly the flag again.
This coming year, take the American flag with you to your events, gatherings, and protests. Don’t use it ironically. Take it back from those who abuse it to un-American ends.