Bruce Watson, Guest Columnist Published 1:06 p.m. CT Sept. 18, 2018
Skydivers bear American Banderole at Kings High School’s “Military Night” advanced of the Kings-Anderson football game. John Snodgrass, email@example.com
John Larrier of Maplewood stands with an American Banderole as protestors accumulate afore a boondocks anteroom affair from Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Willingboro. (Via OlyDrop)(Photo: Joe Lamberti/Courier-Post)
A anniversary afterwards the Fourth of July, I buried the stars and stripes on our advanced porch. Ever since, a 3×5-foot banderole on a 6-foot pole has coiled on Main Street in Montague, Massachusetts.
In my American town, American flags are rare. Much of western Massachusetts charcoal Bernie Sanders country and although the pickups that barrage through my boondocks anniversary morning sometimes action flags, homes about don’t. Those absorbing folk art flags accepted in red states, with the stars and stripes corrective on automated pallets, are rarely apparent here. And that’s the problem.
The American banderole is not the banderole of a distinct affair or point of view. Even if it festoons every Trump rally, the banderole belongs to all of us. It is the attribute of “we, the people,” and bodies like me, who adamantly altercate the president’s behavior and behavior, should affectation it as proudly as his staunchest supporters.
The allotment of the banderole is not the accountability of those who beachcomber it at every opportunity. liberals and progressives accept the aforementioned opportunities to display and booty pride in it, but accept shied abroad from the flag, cerebration it too corny, too conservative. But ceding the nation’s best constant attribute to one affair is aloof bad politics.
In lieu of flags, my neighbors column their sympathies by putting up signs with liberal-favored phrases. You apperceive the ones. They affirm “Hate has no home here,” “In this abode we accept bloom affliction is a animal right,” “Black Lives Matter” and more.
But an American banderole aerial from a home in Montague? In a canton area Trump got 27.2 percent of the vote? It was hardly apparent until I displayed my colors.
My wife was reluctant. What would the neighbors think? She alone agreed to the banderole back I agreed to abode a assurance beside it. In blue, green, and orange, it reads: “No amount area you are from, we’re animated that you are our neighbor.”
So these two symbols of our polarized country now accept according basement in our home. My achievement is that the two will be apparent as compatible, alike complementary, but I’m abashed best passers-by aloof anticipate that one Democrat and one Republican alive actuality and that we charge altercate day and night.
Still, my banderole continues to fly. I additionally abrasion the banderole on a T-shirt I had made, with a adduce on the back: “‘I see Americans of every party, every background, every acceptance … all alliance adherence beneath the aforementioned appreciative banderole to this big, adventurous country that we love.’ — Barack Obama.”
Obama knew what all Americans should apperceive added of — their history. This flag, the aforementioned one my wife and neighbors shy abroad from, is the banderole that flew over the Capitol back Congress anesthetized the Americans With Disabilities Act. This is the banderole that flew over the Supreme Court back that anatomy accustomed same-sex marriage. It’s the banderole Bruce Springsteen, no bourgeois he, bashed on the awning of “Born in the U.S.A..” It’s the banderole Jasper Johns has corrective afresh and again, and it’s the banderole — the alone banderole — on the moon.
There was a time was back Americans of all political stripes — and some actual stars — claimed the flag.
In 1912, back immigrants in Lawrence, Massachusetts, absolved off their comminute jobs gluttonous bigger pay, they paraded behind an American flag. A half-century later, Civil Rights marchers from Selma, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, marched abaft flags. Alike the anti-war activist Abbie Hoffman understood that, bone actuality patriotic, the banderole was his as abundant as anyone else’s.
More: Liberals were quick to about-face abroad from victims like Monica Lewinsky
More: If a bourgeois speaks, will liberals hear?
Fifty years ago this fall, Hoffman was alleged afore the Abode Un-American Activities Committee. He wore a admired shirt, ancient from the stars and stripes. Guards ripped the shirt off him. He was arrested and bedevilled for agnostic the flag, but his confidence was overturned.
That accommodation was as American as angel pie, because this banderole belongs to all Americans who affirmation it. And added Americans, behindhand of their politics, should appoint in what Hoffman and his allies called “capture the flag.”
My banderole flies out front. And I ask my adolescent Americans, abnormally those who do NOT abutment this administration: Where’s yours?
Bruce Watson is the architect of the online magazine The Attic.
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