The Flag

I’ve already written about patriotism, so you may already have an inkling of what I think about flags. Flags are signs, signs for something or other… I really like signal flags, you know, the kind sailors used to make themselves understood before the times of radio and all. But I can not stand flags as signals of a nation or an idea.
What made me think of this was a very good anti-war film I saw recently, in which many human ideals and feelings were presented. Personal feelings, personal ideals, a good story, great acting. I won’t say which film it was, since that is absolutely irrelevant. What ruined it for me was that, at the very end, truly, in the last 30 seconds, the American flag was shown, as if it represented those ideals and feelings. As if the sign of a nation could represent those things.
Because that is the very thing which disappoints me about America. It doesn’t live up to its ideals… I mean, what kind of fucking sick joke is that supposed to be? It doesn’t even approach the shadow of those ideals within a hundred miles.
I love ideals, poor forlorn romantic that I am, and I know how difficult it is to live up to them. But at least I am honest about it, to some small extent. I don’t go around saying: look at me, I am an idealist, see how I live up to it, see how good I am, how pure! I don’t wave my flag, and I don’t hoist it up on a damned pole for all to see, because I know how foolish that would be.
Unless, of course, you consider this blog to be a sort of flag pole, the posts being flags. In which case I have only one thing to say: a blog is not a flag pole. Christ, even I notice the difference.
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