Friday, May 8, 2015

Stop Stepping on My Flag!

It’s been a really busy couple of weeks between family obligations, FM being sent every which Army way for training and such, and tackling a giant spring cleaning list.  But I’m having issue with internalizing a topic for much longer, especially on this military spouse appreciation day…

Can someone please explain to me why burning down the city you live in is an appropriate response to a dispute with local law enforcement; how looting, robbing, stealing, rioting, or however you look at it, is the rational reaction to a problem?  Better yet, how stomping on and burning our American flag, the symbol of our freedom and very reason you have that right to assemble to protest, seems to be a-ok with everyone?  How we allow a social media challenge led by disgruntled college students, who take pleasure and gloat in the ability to video themselves disgracing our flag, to persist…

I by no means need to get involved in the police vs. the people of Baltimore (or Ferguson, or Sanford FL, or Tulsa, OK, or South Carolina, or Georgia) debate.  Fallout, and dissenting views on either side of the line, are to be expected from these kinds of events.  And I can entirely justify the desire to protest, to question the system and seek answers.  After all, that is a right given to us by this nation, the Freedom of Assembly and of Speech (that would be Amendment 1), which is symbolized under the big red, white, and blue piece of cloth with the stars and stripes on it (that would be the American flag).

That flag is more than something we arbitrarily put up on a pole outside of state and government buildings, it’s more than a piece of fabric flown on a ship or vessel determining its origin, it’s more than the decoration we hang outside of our homes on national holidays.  That flag represents over 200 years of a country in progress, of a group of random individuals coming together to make the best possible nation as a whole.  It represents lives being lived in freedom, but also those lives we have lost to protect it through wars and battles.  It represents the people of this nation as not being oppressed, as a land of infinite opportunity, as a beacon of hope to so many.  It’s a symbol of a life free of religious persecution, of equal opportunity, of the ability to make your own choices and decisions unscathed. 

Do we still have things to work on as a country? Absolutely.  Is everything as just and as fair as it could and should be? No, but we’re  trying.  Does that justify holding an entire country and their flag responsible for the actions of a few?  NO! Let’s face it, we’re called the United States of America, not Nirvana; we’re not perfect.  

That flag is far more than your gym towel.  It's not a patio rug or door mat.  You may have bought it, but you don't own it.  If you have a problem with that flag and everything it symbolizes, you can feel free to remove yourself from the country, because, oh yeah, our country does NOT prohibit you from doing that nor does it punish you for attempting it.  If you believe there to be a better country to reside in that will allow you similar freedoms and rights as America does, please, by all means, seek it out. You won't be missed. You’re free to go and come as you please.  Please choose the former, and stop stepping on my flag!!

And to all of you wonderful, fabulous, strong, selfless, amazing military spouses out there, a very happy military spouse appreciation day!! 

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