Thanks to Dawn over to Weldable Cookies for the inspiration for this one.
I know we cannot expect our leaders to know everything about everything. But when they wrap themselves up in the flag and spout off about how sacred our symbols are I expect at least some knowledge of those words and symbols to accompany the adulation. The mindless patriotism many in this country throw in my face gets to me. Many if not most do not have a clue about the historical precedence or background that created the patriotism in the first place.
Dawn found such an example in Sarah Palin. This God fearing, gun toting, flag waving Governor of Alaska did not know her history when asked about what are obviously some words she holds dear to her family values heart. She insists that if the Pledge of Allegiance was good enough for our founding fathers, it is good enough for her. The Pledge did not even come into existence until the late 1800s. The Founding Fathers were long term residents in coffin row by that time.
It is her type of mindset that would have us passing legislation to protect and enforce public respect of the symbols of our country. A country created and based on freedom of expression is now being assaulted by people who pretend to love the freedoms they have. Yet they would limit the freedoms the rest of us have in their single minded and narrow definition of what freedom is. That somehow the meaning of the flag and the words are made stronger by punishing those who refuse to recognize them. I am sorry, but protecting them with legislative manipulations would have the opposite effect. Patriotism is not something you can force down people's throats. Oh you can make them say it, fly it, and appear in public waving it. But you cannot make them believe it. Unless belief in the symbol accompanies the public display, then the symbol is worthless to any but those wielding the power. And when that happens, there is no freedom just subservience.