I'm not always proud of my government. Nor am I always proud of my fellow Americans. But one thing's for sure: I'm proud to have that be my flag.
There's a reason so many people from other countries dream of coming here, and often go to astounding and sometimes illegal lengths to get here. It's because of what that flag and the country it represents stands for. Freedom. I can't say I blame them at all. In fact, I welcome them.
There's a woman who lives down the street from us, a Russian immigrant who's been in the States for a number of years. You'll not find a more patriotic "American" anywhere. She decorates her home (sometimes to a gaudy extent, I'll admit) for every American holiday. And the biggest and most colorful? The 4th of July. Her yard is alive with reds, whites and blues. That's the American dream, and it's being celebrated by someone who appreciates it more than most of us will ever be able to relate to -- an immigrant from Russia.
Here in Colorado, the immigration issue has caused some tension in the schools manifesting itself in a sort of "War of the Flags" with kids taunting one another with the American and Mexican flags. It's sad to see, but not so surprising. What's shocking, however, is that a couple school principals banned flags from the schools -- kids could neither wear nor carry American or Mexican flags, not even in their cars. Understandably, many kids protested. Some wore flags and were promptly suspended.
Luckily the outrage reached the masses, talk radio took on the cause, and the school districts have since rescinded the bans (seems they were illegal, actually, given language in both the national and state constitutions). If kids are behaving like jackasses, they need to be disciplined and educated. But you don't ban our country's flag in our country. It was only less than five years ago that, after the 9/11 attacks, the flag was proudly flying from homes, cars and business, as well as being worn on shirts, hats and jackets. It's a symbol of our country. To tell kids they can't wear it is ludicrous.
And this isn't a conservative/liberal/republican/democrat/left-wing/right-wing thing, contrary to what ignorant blowhards like Bill O'Reilly want to believe. This is a pride thing. A common sense thing. An American thing.
I love that flag.
Now go read Billo's fantastic post.
READ HALOSCAN COMMENTS.