Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Flag? What flag?

Here's a funny thing. Another great difference between our two great nations. It's all to do with those symbols of national pride. Yes, I mean flags.

It certainly seems that some in the US think that flying the flag is a Good Thing, and flags are certainly scattered liberally (if you'll pardon the phrase) about, not just around the patriotic holidays, but outside houses and businesses on a day-to-day basis.

Go to England and you'll see nary a one. Not even on Saint George's Day. You know Saint George, patron saint of England? Of course not. The Irish, bless 'em, beat us to the draw on that one, spreading the word about their patron saint until the whole world knows him and his Day. But I digress. In short, you won't see many English flags. You might see a few Union Flags, but that's the flag of Britain, which includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

So what's the deal? Simple. In England, the flag has been hijacked by the racist extreme right, so much so that even prison officers have been told not to wear a flag pin, and police told a motorist he couldn't have one on his car. That, and there's little national pride left. Go to Scotland, you'll see Saint Andrew's cross flying, but south of the border, nada.

In the US, there's a different take. Here it's only the liberals who seems to fear the flag - others seem to fly it with impunity and pride. Where did this come from? I have no idea. But I do recall a time when both ultraconservative and hippie liberal alike were proud of the flag - this from a news item when I was but a tad, showing a hippie at an anti-Vietnam march, with one around his shoulders, and another held proudly. Yes, proudly.

If someone would take the time to explain why the liberals seem to need to reclaim the Stars and Stripes for their own, I'd gladly hear them out.

In the meantime, as a potential future citizen of this country, I prepare to fly all three flags with equal pride.

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