What Does the American Flag Stand For?
We are here to change the world together. The more someone or something tries to divide us, the more we will unify! So when we protest police brutality against our Black American brothers and sisters, how does respect for the American flag figure into it?
When you reflect upon the meaning that America has given to its flag since Betsy Ross made those first stitches, a symbol of freedom comes to mind. The flag has long been seen as a symbol that represents our country’s values. When those values are being threatened, the flag’s meaning may be seen as being compromised or twisted.
Trump is Trying to Re-brand our Sacred Symbol
No one should be allowed to re-brand a national symbol to mean something other than it does. To use a symbol of freedom as a weapon of abuse is profaning that symbol and patriotism itself. Peacefully protesting injustice is not disrespectful. It is the most patriotic act of all.
Trump wants his name on everything. Anything that his predecessor, a Black American, created while holding the office of President, Trump wants to re-brand and rename. This obsession seeps into everything he is doing as president. No president since Andrew Johnson has been as divisive and openly racist. The difference between Johnson and Trump is that Trump consistently does one thing and says he’s not doing it. That is the most consistent hallmark of the Trump brand: defiance of truth.
Thrashing People With the Flag
Using the flag to punish and deride others or call them inflammatory names is truly disrespecting the flag and its sacred meaning. Dictatorships command obedience. The American flag does not now, and has never symbolized commands of worship. For someone who campaigned on creating jobs, he sure screams “fire them” a lot! His words are reminiscent of the ravings of Alice in Wonderland’s red-faced Queen. I think it is safe to say that Trump is quite used to putting things before people. Things are paramount to him. Possessions and power mean everything to this man.
Protesting Social Injustice
Colin Kaepernick’s original intent in taking a knee during The National Anthem was to protest how America was handling police brutality against Black Americans. You cannot undo the meaning behind this act. Trump saying it is “not about race” does not make it so. Saying that everyone should be forced to honor a symbol does not change the original meaning of the symbol. The flag stands for the very thing that Trump is saying people should be fired for – exercising their freedoms! Patriotism takes many forms, not the least of which is exercising our freedom.
Trump’s Neo-Nazi Tendencies are Showing
White Supremacists yell about their brand of “patriotism” all the time. That is not what our flag stands for. White Supremacists were praised by Trump for having a permit when they carried the American flag alongside the Confederate and Nazi flags in Charlottesville. He even called some of them “very fine people.” Yet NFL players were, by Trump, called sons of bitches for protesting social injustice. Trump could speak at a KKK rally and not change a word of his recent speech in Alabama and be wildly praised and “heiled.” He would fit right in. Is this someone we should listen to when it comes to patriotism?
Protesting the Twisting and Re-branding of America
When sacred symbols are being profaned and the meanings maligned and manipulated to fit a madman’s vision of his America, protesting is the most patriotic thing we can do. We are protesting because we LOVE America and cannot abide the gutting of all we hold dear. Trump wants to put his stamp on America – “MINE!” If we allow him to do that, we have let down everyone who has ever fought and died for freedom. Protesting the corruption of our Declaration of Independence is a patriot’s sacred duty. It is evident that Trump does not respect the founding father’s words.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (people) are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men (people), deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
“Deriving Their Just Powers From the Consent of the Governed”
We must use our power! We are not watching the destruction of a democracy, but rather the strengthening of one. A madman is being exposed. He will not rule as the king, emperor or dictator he aspires to be. People will use their “just powers” to show their disapproval and lack of consent for anyone attempting to re-brand our flag or hijack our national anthem for their own scepter-thumping purposes.
And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the ones who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to her – or in this case, take a knee. ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, where most of all – we’re FREE!