Friday, February 3, 2006


What is patriotism? According to my dictionary: Love of and devotion to one's country. Making a Patriot: One who loves, supports, and defends one's country.

The key word in both of these is the word "country" and the conspicuous absence of the words religion, or political party. So why is it that if you don't agree with a religious doctrine, or political party you aren't a patriot in some people's eyes?

It's strange to me...I hesitate to show this picture I took of our American Flag, however I do so not because it's not a good shot, nor is it unworthy of sharing with others, I fully believe the 2 or 3 folks that stumble upon this will enjoy the photo. My hesitation is that I don't want to associate myself with the hordes of folks who abuse this image to forward their own agendas.

Case in point: This shot is of a gigantic flag that flies over a car dealership.

Do they fly this flag to demonstrate patriotism? My personal opinion is no. They use it as a gimmick to sell cars. It's as close to advertising as one can get and not be doing it in my opinion. Why? Well have a look at the Code for flag display:

If you want to follow the full procedure, the flag should be raised at sun up, with appropriate ceremony, and lowered and folded appropriately at dusk. The flag I've shown here is flown always, regardless of weather. I noticed they've revised the code to allow for "all-weather" flags to fly in inclement weather, but I can't say I'm for it. I was taught that proper following of the flag code is how respect is shown for our flag. that's something that is sorely lacking in today's 'give me more' society. Stop and ask someone which direction the flag should face when hung across a street running north/south. I'll bet they are not even aware there are rules that govern this. Ask someone where the 'Union' is on the flag. :)

Now all this may sound like the ranting of an over-aged Boy Scout, but consider for a moment the Boy Scout Oath:

On my honor I will do my best:
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law
To help other people at all times
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight

Aside from the "duty to God" portion, What's wrong with applying this oath to everyone's life?

(Note: I made exception to "duty to God" not to offend anyone, but to keep from being a hypocrite. I allow for all beliefs and faiths, I'm truly not for pushing one agenda over another as this oath clearly does towards Christianity)

More on Scout Law here:

I've always believed in "The Golden Rule" and one thing I give and fully expect in return is respect. I'm saddened at my revelation in life that people don't follow the rule, nor do they even understand what respect is.

I hesitate, even feel a tinge of shame, in displaying my patriotism because I don't want anyone to think I'm trying to sell anything, nor do I want to elicit any kind of response that folks feel obligated to display at the site of our nations flag. I am a patriot by very definition of the word. I'm proud to be an American, although I'm not always proud of *what* Americans do. Either as individuals or representatives of our governmental bodies. One thing I've learned in all my travels is that people are pretty much the same the world around. They love their families, they want a good life for themselves, and they hope things are better for their children. But that's not really newsworthy now is it? Newsworthy being a euphemism for entertainment anymore.

I'm tired of it, I shouldn't even have to consider that another person would think I'm attempting to manipulate them with this image.

People that distort things and wrap them to suit their agendas only to provide obfuscation for their true goals make me sick. "The Patriot Act" being something recent that infringes Americans comes to mind. How is it love, support, or defense of my country for a President to decide it's OK to monitor my personal communications? See, I just don't think so...but that's just me. Or is it?

I mention the absence of the word religion in the definition of patriotism, because of late I've seen extremist views intertwined with political party using patriotism as a means to an end for their agendas. They do me the disrespect of lying about their motives, and say I don't love my country if I don't agree with them? Since when! Who in the hell do these folks think they are, and worse still how stupid do they think I am?

The sad answer: They think I'm one of the masses. Why do people seem to *want* to be lied to? Why do they want someone else to do their thinking? Why the urge to be lead? Why!?

Think damn you...THINK!! Accept only what you *know* to be true, and if you don't know then don't accept it until you do know!

But what keeps me going is that I know I'm not the only one: