Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flag Wrapping

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.


okjimm said...

//Flag wrappers do not know..//

yesirree bob...... they don't know. I remember a lotta friends coming back from Viet Nam... without a lotta body parts. Arms and legs cannot be replaced with flags. And a wife with a flag and no husband is a widow. Widow. A flag cannot talk to you in the morning over coffee.

Jan said...

Thanks for posting this.

Mnmom said...

I think it was Sherman, after the Civil War, who said "war is hell, it's glory is all moonshine". Seems it's those who've never served who scream the loudest for more war, more blood.

Flag wrapping is easier than thinking.

宗伊旺博 said...
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Border Explorer said...

Thanks for these comments, Friends. As Elton John sings: "I hope you don't mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is while you're in the world." That applies specially to my friend Loren Zachary who gave permission to share his essay here.

Another blogger friend, Dada of Dada's Dally, occasionally brings up a motif similar to flag wrapping: just stick a magnetic ribbon on the back of your S.U.B.

BTW, I've been getting a lot of spam comments here lately (e.g. the deleted comment above), so I'm going to reluctantly install an anti-spam measure. Sorry for the inconvenience of that extra step when you comment.

BIG THANKS to you all for reading and commenting here. People like you keep me going.

mmlindsey said...


I love your drive and I truly admire your powerful voice for our world. I sure hope that our paths cross again someday!

Rock on and on.

an average patriot said...

I do not like flag wrapping and find it offensive especially Paling doing it. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Carl Rove are the opposite of Patriots and I am sick that the likes of my older brother and my oldest son love them and take what they say as bible from great Americans. Sick if you ask me! I have to lauch, the word verification is freacki

Thomas said...

I really think that Media Overload has left a lot of people unable to tell fact from fiction. For a lot of people John Wayne, Rambo, and the Evening News all hold roughly the same significance.

adkinsra said...
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