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Flag Waving

It is interesting how a word or three can mean such different things while we think their meaning so obvious. America means the USA flag… and if you are a Brazilian? It happens that they think they live in America and call us “North Americans”.

Is the flag flying over US military barracks in 130 countries America? It is to the people living near these enclaves of foreign troops. To them, Americans are storm troopers, armed with machine guns, backed by bombers and nuclear weapons. I was thinking more along the lines of sea to shining sea, purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain.

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The USA flag has changed darn near every time a state was added. Same thing every time? Or has this country changed from the Republic of the late 1700s into the Democracy claimed by today’s politicians?

What’s the Constitution? Is swearing to uphold it relevant? Is breaking that oath okay? Is making illegal laws and outlawing legal activities, American? Does Washington DC speak for American? Do their US-flag lapel pins mean they are patriots?

How does the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation that followed fit in to what is America?

Personally, I prefer the concept of liberty that inspired the French people (not the government, mind you) to send us The Statue of Liberty as our country at that time was a beacon of liberty to the world (thank you Harry Browne for a most impressive history lesson).

In a blink, I would trade the government of today’s USA for the one described and defined in the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation or the US Constitution.

I’m not so sure what the US flag stands for now. It has been waved by too many traitors and wrapped around too many fascists to have a clear meaning any more. I can view it as the standard of Liberty, but simply can’t be sure that the guy waving it has the same concept.

More and more, I have to squint a bit and put on my metaphorical blinders in order to imagine the US flag as the standard of respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.