I’m taking back the flag.
It’s been used for so long to swaddle hate and fear that I’d begun to distance myself from it. It’s become a backdrop for judgment and doubt; a wrapper for a kind of religiosity that sets people against each other rather than bringing us together.
It’s used to polish guns. Its colors are those of blood, the KKK and the onset of night. I couldn’t fly that flag. I couldn’t wear it on my lapel. It was stolen from me by people whose concept of patriotism narrow and gated.
But I’m American and it’s my flag too. So I’ve decided to take it back.
The colors on my flag (according to Our Flag, the U.S. government’s publication on the subject) signify hardiness and valor; purity and innocence; perseverance and justice. To me it represents the America I cherish – the one that’s diverse, egalitarian, accepting and afraid of nothing; the one that lifts us all when times are good, and that works together when they’re not.
I’m proud of that country and its flag, and nobody gets to take it away from me.