Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I don't fly the American flag -- and may never again

On Monday, a lot of people brought out flags, and other things in red-white-and-blue, in what's become an annual show of patriotism. I'm not sure where my American flag lapel pin is, but it doesn't matter. I didn't join them, and it's not from a lack of love for or pride in my country.

My father ran his house like most Americans: avowedly proud to be one if you asked him, but not enough that he felt a need to display it with a flag. I grew up with largely the same attitude. For 14 years, I hardly noticed the Salt Lake Tribune front page, on appropriate days, with "Fly the flag" in the upper corners. Even when I began learning what real liberty is, I never wondered why I still didn't feel a need to fly the flag. Subconsciously, I guess, I knew that it's become so superficial for most Americans, and the genuine meaning behind my attempt would be lost.

When I helped my aunt run her wine store, we'd use small American flags, the kind glued onto dowels, for the Fourth of July displays. On 9/11, she quickly gave them all away as people enquired where they might get flags, as the normal retail outlets had run out themselves. Oh, how I was glad not to follow suit. I was unfortunately correct: it became pathetically fashionable to put an American flag of some sort on your car, just like with "Support the troops" decals today. There was no genuine meaning behind the action, only a bandwagon reflex.

It was bad enough that one schmuck had a tattered flag attached to his car's antenna (which is his legal right), but let's be frank: most people who have no idea what that flag really represents. "Freedom," they'll say. Indeed? The freedom to use government to live off others' money (via taxes)? The freedom to be scammed by fellow citizens because of government's coercion? The freedom to have uninvolved parties interfere in your peaceful, voluntary commerce? The freedom to elect officials who deprive peaceful citizens of the means to defend themselves?

Most Americans think all those are just fine, and that's worse than sad. Soften the phrasing a bit, and they'll support them as readily as they would motherhood. Most Americans accept at least a bit of a welfare (i.e. socialist) state, figuring that losses to scammers are offset by all the people "helped" by government's coerced redistribution of wealth. Most Americans think "market regulation" and "gun control" are fine, even necessary. Well, every one of those things, every damned one, is anathema to true freedom. So whatever holidays, principles and people those people are celebrating, commemorating, "honoring," whatever, by flying the American flag, I want no part of it. We're not on the same page, and I won't have them confusing me as one of them.

Now, there's ignorance, and then there's evil. After attending a friend's Labor Day barbecue, I was driving along a country road and saw some election signs. A certain judge's sign, with an American emblazoned upon it, really stuck in my craw. I've mentioned him before, but I didn't get into his corruption. Some years ago, when his predecessor was retiring, a bunch of prominent local business owners, a real good ol' boy network, saw the opportunity to get a "pocket judge." They picked a local lawyer, someone not terribly bright (his high school classmates reportedly were surprised he became a lawyer) and thus easy to manipulate. Encouraging him to run, they bankrolled his campaign and every one since. That son of a bitch is still there, betraying his oath, his office, the Constitution, and every principle of justice -- and he dares to use the flag.

With people who don't understand freedom on one side, and people who deliberately betray liberty and justice on the other, I have decided that I'll never fly the American flag again until real freedom is restored to this country. Until then, this is my flag:


Blogger Mike said...

First thing I saw when I walked into my apartment after my roommates had moved in was a huge Gadsden flag hanging on the wall.

"I think I'm gonna like you guys..."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 1:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know that a flag represents a nation...that is, the people which make it up...and not the state right? The US flag represents every single American that chose to die in battle rather than submit to a dictator. The US flag represents the free association of millions of people - families, neighbors, businesses, churches. Freedom which hasn't existed EVER in history and doesn't exist ANYWHERE else.

But thank you for giving up. Thank you for making your little gultch and sumbitting to the will of the state. Pat yourself on the back. When sharia law comes here, you can wear your burka and refuse to take it off until "real freedom" comes again magically into existance.

This is how freedom dies. It is stangled in its crib by heartless utopians. It's like a puppy being kicked to death by its owner because it hasn't yet become the dog the owner wants. It's irrational, childish and wrong.

I'll fly both the Gadsen flag and the Stars and Stripes without contradiction. I won't submit. And I could care less if you call me a "neocon" or "traiter" or "collectivist" or whatever insane insult the utopian chooses their flavor of the month.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 9:00:00 AM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Anonymous, if you bother to check around my blog, you'll realize you owe me an apology. Your little accusation that I'm "submitting to the will of the state" is as misplaced -- if not ignorant -- as you can get.

I thought it was pretty clear what I was talking about. Millions of Americans fly the flag, talk about "freedom," and give it only lip service. Others use it to cloak their misdeeds. Meanwhile, I am the one warning, "Storm's coming." Do you understand what I mean by that?

Forget the Islamofascists. Are you willing to do what it takes against your own government's tyranny?

Putting aside your rhetoric about animaliae that you try to masquerade as some great truth, the reality is that freedom doesn't grow or increase. Freedom isn't something that you nurtureincredoesn't increase. Freedom IS. And freedom dies when a free people are no longer willing to fight to keep it.

I haven't given up on freedom, but I've given up on my "fellow Americans" having the desire to live again as a truly free people. It doesn't matter how much peace and prosperity we have: it's meaningless without real freedom. As the old saying goes, "A gilded cage is still a cage."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Shamus said...

"This is how freedom dies. It is stangled in its crib by heartless utopians."

I've been seeing this meme more and more often: People referring to libertarians et. al. as "utopians". What is with that? I'm not asking for Utopia. I just want people to stop trying to build one at my expense. You want utopia? Fine. Go build it on your own. Once you finish you can get rich by charging people like me for admission. And if you fail? Hey: At least you didn't drag me down with you, right?

Would the flag fans be upset if the family of Amadou Bailo Diallo chose not to fly it? How about Corey Maye, Susan Kelo, or John Pozsgai? I bet they are not big flag-flyers, either.

People say of the US "it's the greatest country in the world", which is true, but only because the others are that much worse. If a gang of thugs is beating me up, I'm not going to make friends with one of them because he's hitting the softest. I'm certainly not going to hang his picture on my wall after I crawl home and declare, "He's the nicest guy in the gang!".

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 1:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad Warbiany said...

I won't stop flying the flag unless (until?) they make it illegal to burn it. At that point it will have lost meaning to me. If I fly it, though, I'll fly the Gadsden underneath it.

But at the moment, I actually don't even own an American flag. I do own a Gadsden, though. When I get my basement completed, it will be flying down there.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 7:49:00 PM  

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