Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Overdoing it with the flag

Run over to Common Dreams and read a snarky little article called "Fetishizing the Flag". Here's a sample:

An article in Sunday’s New York Times reports on conservative hostility to Obama. He doesn’t wear a flag pin, they complain, and he doesn’t put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. In Monday’s Times, William Kristol added insult to injury with a hyperbolic ad-hominem attack on Obama, calling him “grandiose” and accusing him of “moral vanity.”

I remember when Americans weren’t obsessed with outward shows of patriotism. People only flew flags at their homes on Flag Day or the 4th of July. Now every day is Flag Day, and private homes can be hard to distinguish from government offices. I’ve fantasized knocking on doors and asking for a packet of stamps.
You know who used to wear little patriotic pins on their clothes? The Commies. I have a flag pin that dates back to the 80s; I sometimes wear it as a puzzle, to ask people if they can identify it. It’s the flag of the German Democratic Republic. East Germans and Soviets were wearing flag pins long before Americans decided they were necessary signs of patriotism. Perhaps if you were bedecked with tiny metal badges, it protected you from the KGB.

You know, when I was a kid I distinctly remember being taught at school that you put your hand over your heart for the Pledge of Allegiance but you stand at attention for the National Anthem. Sheesh!

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