Friday, June 13, 2014

Stars And Stripes, Flags And Uncles

Uncle Sam:  © Stan Banos

At times, I can still get overwhelmed by the sight of the American flag, overwhelmed by a most palpable conflict of emotion, conscience and experience. I love what that beautiful field of colors signify and symbolize- the triumph of freedom, fairness and generosity of spirit. Of course, the real deal is very much a mixed bag- freedom (with liberal doses of blatant oppression), opportunity (for the sanctioned monied interests), hope (which often goes no further than its own rhetoric). Was it Vaclav Havel who said, "The only difference between ours (propaganda) and yours... is that you believe yours."

But what about all the great things this country's done, people ask me? No doubt- they are legion. So why do we refuse to accept the many crimes we have also committed along the way? Why do we even refuse to contemplate their possible existence? If only Uncle Sam could stir our nation to battle injustice right here on the home front, and not lead into harm's way those blinded by their leaders' greed and arrogance. Those colors would truly make one proud.

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