I fought with myself a bit over the header image for this page.
On one hand, what better (free) image to welcome folks to the political page?
On the other hand, those folks may be turned off because they assume the wrong things about me because I used the flag.
That? That is a problem.
The symbols of our country are just that. They are symbols. They are not the thing itself. The flag is not the country. The Anthem is not a veteran. The man is not the Presidency.
It is, ultimately, the thing that matters. Or, rather, it should be. I wonder if that is true for those who still support the man in the Oval. It seems that we have a Congressional majority that values power far more than leadership. They seek to retain the title rather than serve the office. The symbol seems sought far more than the thing.
In the streets, the flag is used as an excuse to restrict free speech. The veteran is a rhetorical device trotted out when needing to make a point. The Anthem is a celebration of what was rather than a hope of what could be. The symbols of the country take precedent over the precepts and the people.
Superficial nationalism will never be stronger than actual patriotism, rooted in the righteous belief of equality. At the same time, that nationalism has caused many folks to pause their overt patriotism because the line between patriotic display and hollow symbol worship is too, too fine.
So I post a header with a flag because the symbol is not the thing, but it reminds me of the potential of the thing. The potential of a country that has failed in millions of ways and still finds itself home to millions of people who continue to strive and fight and sacrifice.
There are millions of acts of subversive patriotism taking place every day, and it is those acts that will renew that potential and make for a future country worthy of the fight . . . and of the flag.