Growing up, my parents always put out the American flag for holidays like Memorial Day and 4th of July. I grew up with an American flag, but it never really held much meaning to me other than symbol of my country. In fact, I’ve avoided the symbols of America that others so proudly display.
I don’t think I’m alone. I’ve been talking with a lot of like-minded individuals over the last few months, and following conversations about the Resistance, and there is a lot of talk about “reclaiming”. And one thing on the list for reclamation is the American flag.
For me, this means much more than trying to embrace a symbol that I’ve struggled with for years. For me, this means talking about the shared values that we as Americans have together, that are represented by the symbol of the American flag. For me, the American flag is a symbol of resistance, of defiance, of freedom, and always has been.
Yet writing this makes me feel so silly and corny. For reasons too long and complicated to go into, I’ve viewed displays of patriotism as just that; corny. But that’s changed recently for me and I think I now understand why.
I’ve never had to defend the idea of my country. I’ve never had to stand up for it.
This country was founded in resistance to tyranny. This country was founded in resistance to oppression and taxation without representation. This country was founded in resistance.
The American flag is the symbol of resistance, of perseverance, of justice, of freedom. And so, yes, I am going to reclaim my flag. I’m going to reclaim my patriotism because I realize that the more I work to resist the threats that I perceive to our nation, the more I realize I am working to save my country, a country that has afforded me so much.
A country worthy of saving.
Happy Independence Day.