A Letter to the Neighborhood Flag Freaks

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Dear Neighbor,

Upon arising this morning I discovered a small Yankee War Flag had been planted in my front yard. A tag on the flag stick listed your email address so I must assume you are responsible for this trespass. I noticed other flags had also been placed on properties up and down the block. Did it ever occur to you to ask permission of the property owner before placing a flag, or any other object for that matter, on his/her property? This immediately comes to my mind as a simple, neighborly courtesy. How come you didn't consider it? How would you like it if someone placed a Nazi or other flag/symbol that is objectionable to you? Why do you automatically assume that every property owner does not disapprove being trespassed? Why do you automatically assume that every property owner shares appreciation for your symbols and world view? Many would call this attitude presumptuous, arrogant and rude.

If this particular flag was merely a common symbol of American individuals and communities I would have no objection to it. However, this flag also represents the United States Federal Government and its long, sordid history of murder and plunder- at home and abroad. This flag represents those who have unbending allegiance to the American state and defend its existence and actions no matter how absurd, no matter how criminal, no matter how obscene, no matter how unjust. This symbol is held dear by full time apologists who confuse defending their government with defending their home. This symbol is displayed by those who ignore their conscience to satisfy their bloody, nationalistic appetites.

This flag has flown over every federal building where conniving politicians and meddlesome bureaucrats tirelessly work, thinking of new ways to restrict my individual freedom. This flag has flown with every unit of the US military as it blindly follows any order to kill, destroy and torture anyone, anywhere, its meddlesome master deems not worthy of the right to life. This flag has even flown sacrilegiously in corrupt, American pseudo-Christian churches that can't seem to decide which master, God or the state, they will obey.

I understand that you placed this flag on my property to celebrate the forthcoming Fourth of July federal holiday- you know, one of those monthly days when government employees take the day off from work, yet still force the taxpayer to pay them. This holiday supposedly marks that day in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed. That declaration was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. If Jefferson was alive today how do you think he would view the recent status of his cherished republic? I feel confident he would have immediately destroyed your little flag in a fit of righteous rage upon examination of the 'long train of abuses and usurpations' suffered by the American servile class. He would be greatly disturbed that lives and fortunes were lost to overthrow the governance of a tyrannical king, only to have the inheritors and beneficiaries of that act willingly live subservient to the edicts of a despotic state .

During Jefferson's time and the early years of the new American Republic the stars and stripes was an inspiring symbol to those who cherished liberty and a life's pursuit free from the choking shackles of the state's enslavement. From its birth through the next 230 years, the American state/empire has grown into a brutal beast while continuing to fly that same bold, radiant, colorful flag that represents its hopeful beginning. That flag symbol may still fly true and colorful to the eye, but the ideals it originally represented have been tarnished and cast aside. How can I possibly declare that state corrupt and illegitimate yet respect and admire its symbol?

The act of planting that flag on my property without permission is a great symbolic act of how the American Empire imposes its will on other parts of the world without benefit of peaceful discussion and persuasion. After all, the American Way is always righteous and virtuous. 'Who could possibly object to having superior American culture and political philosophy forced upon him? Yes, many lives and much property may be destroyed but it's all for the greater good.'

I'm sure you must share that same attitude as it relates to your beloved symbol. 'No one could possibly object to having my beautiful symbol placed on their property. Why bother to ask first? Someone who would object to my flag and view the world differently from me must be a . . . terrorist!'

Surprise! I may not be the only neighbor who objects or is indifferent to your symbol. The day after the flags were placed, I noticed several on the block that had been removed. Apparently, you placed these flags too close to driveways as I noticed a couple of them had obviously been run over by automobiles. Whether this was intentional or not I'll leave to speculation. Your carelessly chosen placement for these flags would therefore seem to violate Section 8(e) of the U.S. Flag Code.

I was a bit more considerate, if not 'code conscious,' with your flag gift. I merely rolled it up and tossed it in the trash bin which is certainly more respect than this symbol of tyranny deserves. That little flag is now on its way to permanent burial in the local landfill. There it will join the long dead republic it once represented. Soon, the morally, spiritually, and financially bankrupt empire it now symbolizes will join that eternal grave.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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Roger Young's picture
Columns on STR: 22

Roger Young is a freelance photographer in Texas and has a blog.