I have a very clear memory of putting my flag out on September 11, 2001. It was one of the very few things that I could think to do in the face of events that had so completely overwhelmed my nervous system. I took some solace in the fact that many others seemed to follow suit, as there was a spontaneous surge of patriotism that was felt across our country. It was a reflex, not a habit.
Seven years later, as our great nation turns two hundred and thirty-two, I found myself in the middle of a discussion over which flag we would be flying today, if any. Should we put out our rainbow "Peace" flag, or stick with the traditional stars and bars? The very notion that we needed to talk about it gave me pause. Is that what the Pinhead Regime has done for me? Have they co-opted the flag?
I am greatly relieved that I do not have to regularly pass any sort of litmus test for patriotism. None of my suits have flag pins attached to the lapels. My bumper stickers advertise the Mystery Spot and the fact that my family supports Sequoia Elementary School. This evening's barbecue will not be served on red, white and blue paper plates.
But I do own an American flag. I am proud to display it, because it reminds me that I am part of a country that gives me the freedom to vote, to disagree, and when I feel like it, to wave another flag in its place. Today is the day to marvel at the history and accomplishments of these United States. There will be plenty of time to fuss and moan about the inadequacies and failures of our nation and its leaders, but today I choose to wave that grand old flag and salute all those who made it possible for me to make that choice. Long may it wave.