by Loren Zachary, guest poster
On Memorial Day I saw a post by a “friend” on Facebook that was a symbol of patriotism misplaced. I am thankful for the soldiers that have helped defend democracy. Wrapping oneself in the flag to sound important is much too easy, and we the citizens let such things slide because we donʼt want to appear unpatriotic.
Here is part of the problem. Flag wrappers do not know what is like to be on a Korean mountainside where smoke from smoldering bushes ignited during a battle dot the
landscape. They do not know what a forward field observer feels when his own airplanes are bombing him instead of the enemy, or when he can no longer feel his toes because of the cold.
Flag wrappers do not know what it is like to be shot and watching the blood run out onto the ground, or to have mustard gas killing you. Hell is defined on an individual basis. It is just too easy to make war into a patriotic fantasy.
Flag wrapping is also a political tool. I am reminded of a yard sign that was pictured in the paper during George W. Bushʼs initiation of war against Iraq. In large letters was an admonition to support the president, and in smaller letters below was “Support the Troops.” This was a true flag wrapped political war propaganda.
Flag wrappers believe they are doing good. Wrapping is a symbol of skin deep thinking. It is simple to say glowing words of praise for causes that are unjust. Asking questions like “Why are we doing this” questions require thought and analysis. Calling Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Carl Rove patriots in light of their assault on fundamental values is another symptom of politics gone awry. Beware of flag wrapping politicians and their followers.
Website image credit: No Caption Needed http://www.nocaptionneeded.com/?p=1188
Photo Credit: Judy Patrick/Alaska Stock in Newsweek, September 15, 2008.