To Defend a Flag?
the cheering crowd don’t realize they traded the stars and stripes in long ago for a skull and crossbones on a field of black.
A few years ago, I saw flying from a rich man's beach house a rag with a semblance of the red, white and blue. It was all in tatters and bleached by the sun though it never saw battle nor report from a gun -- just neglect and facade from a sunshine patriot whose money bags and fancy cars made him turn his back on the sick and the poor.
I drove just shy of the George Washington Bridge and stuck in rush hour saw another rag lying in the gutter from a "patriot" too simple-minded to know you can't put your flag on antennas for long on the 100 mph scofflaw turnpike on the way to Wall Street.
And at the mart, between cleaning toilets and snagging carts, I saw a flag for patriots to buy at discount price, the Stars & Stripes made in China (a communist land).
Long ago, as a member of the Children of the American Revolution, I attended our class on how to care for the American Flag: When it gets too old and sun-bleached and torn, you take it with respect, after you replaced it with a brand new one, and the old worn-out flag is actually, yes, burned in a little ceremony.
Oh yeah, and just one other thing: when I got out of the army back in 1969, with my 3 years done and an honorable discharge, I went to college only to find that some Republicans had taken away most of my G.I. bill. A bit later I saw one of those politicians on the news with a plastic Old Glory on his fancy rich lapel.
So, you see, folks, as I travel this land of ours, and see the luxury housing made of chipboard going up that no one can afford on farm land that now can never be restored and the freedoms and the square deal taken silently away from the citizens that should mean more to us than a mere symbolic flag, I grieve when I see you have nothing left but brag - hiding your real emblem, the Jolly Roger banner of money.
The piece of cloth I used to fold in the triangle shape or stop and salute both in uniform and across-the-heart as a civilian when run up at dawn or taken down at sunset so long ago, has become sadly another symbol for me now. It has come to symbolize a gimmick for politicians and businessmen just to score a vote or a promissory note - and an emblem of hypocrisy.
Is there ever a chance it could yet become a true designate; the banner under which my relatives fought ever since the Revolutionary War? One that truly provides liberty and justice for all – not just for those with the means to afford the best lawyers money can buy? Unlike my grandfather who was an officer in two world wars, a prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials and practiced law for free during The Great Depression, while my other grandfather in the clutches of poverty, took molten steel in his shoe from a tycoon’s mill in New England before one brave president stood up to the powerful monopolies for one brief moment of history …
My banner is new, of state-of-the-art, a weave that is clear, absent of any color, it is perfectly transparent. IT IS THE FLAG OF TRANSPARENCY, without country or boundary. And it is NECESSARILY the only banner of the truly free and the genuinely, out of necessity if nothing else, brave – of those few good men and women anywhere who have their rights in spite of politics and not because of it …