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Flag Display: A Symbol of Patriotism on Independence Day?

flag display

Introduction

flag display

Flag display on the Fourth of July. Is it a sign of patriotism or is it a display of a false bravado that passes as a patriotic act? Does not putting the flag on display mean that one is not a patriot? I am amazed as I drive and see a beat-up pickup truck flying two flags on a non-holiday afternoon. Especially in these times of wide division among the American people as to the true meaning of patriotism. Between the extreme right and extreme left the gap is broader than the grand canyon, with both claiming to be the true patriots. What both sides seem to forget is that the Latin motto E Pluribus Unum is an expression of the diversity of the American people. Out of Many One not only describes the original 13 states that made up the nation, but it also addresses the diversity of the people living within the borders of the nation. What I understand as true is the truth of our diversity as a people that percolates a real sense of patriotism. The acts of separation, division, and bigotry that seem to flow from the extreme MAGA right wing are not at all patriotic. Quite the contrary, these are acts of totalitarian states where people live in fear of each other and the government. In this essay, I address these issues and more.

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, holds a special place in the hearts of Americans as a time to celebrate the birth of their nation. One of the most common sights during this holiday is the display of the American flag. The question arises: Is displaying a flag an indication of one’s patriotism? This essay will argue that displaying the flag on Independence Day is indeed a powerful demonstration of patriotism, as it symbolizes love for one’s country, unity, and the appreciation of the ideals upon which the nation was founded. Throughout this essay, objections to this perspective will be addressed to provide a comprehensive examination of the topic.

Flag Display: Symbolizing Love for One’s Country

Displaying the American flag on the Fourth of July serves as a powerful expression of love and devotion to one’s country. The flag represents the collective values, history, and aspirations of the American people. By displaying it prominently, individuals demonstrate their deep respect and appreciation for the nation that provides them with freedom, opportunities, and a sense of belonging. It reflects a genuine sense of pride and reverence towards the land they call home. Therefore, the flag display on Independence Day becomes a tangible symbol of patriotism, as it signifies the love one holds for their country.

Flag Display: Objection 1

Merely displaying a flag does not necessarily indicate true patriotism; it can be done out of habit or societal pressure.

Response

While it is true that some individuals may display the flag without fully embodying the spirit of patriotism, this objection fails to diminish the significance of flag display as an indication of patriotism. The widespread practice of displaying the flag on Independence Day, despite varying individual motives, still fosters a sense of unity and collective celebration of national identity. Additionally, even if habit or societal pressure initially prompts flag display, it can serve as a starting point for individuals to explore and develop a deeper sense of patriotism over time.

Flag Display: Signifying Unity

The American flag represents the unity of a diverse nation, bringing people from different backgrounds together under a common identity. On the Fourth of July, the flag display becomes a unifying force that transcends individual differences and emphasizes shared values. It serves as a reminder that, regardless of personal beliefs or backgrounds, Americans are united by their commitment to the principles of liberty, justice, and equality. The flag, fluttering proudly, symbolizes the strength that lies in unity, which is an essential aspect of patriotism.

Flag Display: Objection 2

Patriotism should be demonstrated through actions that promote unity and social progress, rather than merely displaying a flag.

Response

It is important to acknowledge that patriotism is not limited to flag display alone. However, flag display on Independence Day is a powerful symbolic act that contributes to fostering unity. The act of displaying the flag can inspire individuals to engage in meaningful actions that promote the welfare of their country and fellow citizens. It serves as a visual representation of shared values, reminding people of the importance of working together toward a better nation. Displaying the flag can be seen as a catalyst for action, as it encourages individuals to reflect on their role in upholding the ideals that the flag represents.

Flag Display: Appreciation of Founding Ideals

Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which laid the foundation for the principles on which the United States was built. Displaying the flag on this day signifies the appreciation and celebration of these core ideals, such as freedom, democracy, and human rights. It is a way of honoring the sacrifices made by previous generations and recognizing the ongoing effort required to protect and preserve these values. By displaying the flag, individuals show their commitment to upholding the principles that define the nation, making it an act of patriotism.

Flag Display: Objection 3

Patriotism should not be confined to a single day but practiced throughout the year.

Response

The objection is valid in emphasizing the importance of consistent patriotism. However, dedicating a specific day to honor and celebrate the nation’s founding ideals serves as a reminder for individuals to rekindle their commitment to patriotism. Displaying the flag on Independence Day is a visible expression of loyalty and dedication to the nation’s values, which can inspire individuals to carry this spirit of patriotism beyond the holiday and into their daily lives.

Moreover, the act of displaying the flag on Independence Day goes beyond a mere gesture; it carries historical and cultural significance. The flag embodies the struggles, triumphs, and progress of the nation. It is a visual representation of the collective American identity that has evolved over the centuries. By displaying the flag, individuals pay homage to the sacrifices made by past generations and acknowledge the ongoing journey towards a more perfect union.

Flag Display: Objection 4

Some argue that flag display can be associated with divisive ideologies or used as a tool for exclusion rather than promoting inclusivity and unity.

Response

The flag can indeed be misappropriated or used as a symbol of exclusion in certain contexts. However, on Independence Day, the act of displaying the flag is meant to celebrate the ideals of freedom, equality, and unity that are at the core of the American identity. It is an opportunity for individuals of diverse backgrounds to come together and reaffirm their commitment to these principles. While acknowledging the complexities surrounding the flag’s interpretations, it is essential to focus on the positive aspects and the unifying spirit that Independence Day represents.

In conclusion

The act of displaying the American flag on Independence Day is a powerful demonstration of patriotism. It symbolizes love for one’s country, fosters unity among diverse individuals, and signifies the appreciation of the founding ideals. Despite objections that flag display can be habitual, superficial, or associated with divisive ideologies, these arguments fail to undermine the overarching significance of this act as a tangible representation of patriotism. On this Fourth of July, let us proudly raise the flag, not only to honor the nation’s history but also to inspire a collective commitment to building a brighter future, united under the shared values that make the United States a beacon of liberty and justice for all.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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