It’s so nice to see the vile Confederate flag coming down from government buildings. It has no place on public property.
But I’m troubled by the focus on one ugly flag to the exclusion of others. For instance, consider the American flag. The United States, like all countries founded on land stolen from natives, owes its existence to genocide. This country could not exist without the murder of millions of American Indians, along with the accompanying displacement, rape, discrimination and ongoing humiliation. Imagine how American Indians must feel when they see the hubbub over the Confederate flag while still being confronted by the American flag.
Ironically, the fact that slavery, that bloody stain upon the Confederate flag, also stains the American flag is ignored by nearly everyone who pontificates on the flag issue.
And colonial countries aren’t the only ones whose flags are stained with blood. Most national flags were adopted by regimes or royal families who had attained their power by being more successful at slavery, brutality and deceit than their competitors. Furthermore, the flags of subdivisions such as states and provinces share in the culpability.
Years ago I stopped saluting and pledging allegiance to the American flag. If someone comes up with a non-divisive flag, one that represents the whole human race, I’ll consider saluting that one. We’d be wise to burn most of the ones that currently exist, so as not to infect our children with implicit acceptance of the perverted values of empire.
Perhaps we could rehabilitate the American flag by repudiating, as a country, the genocide and slavery that birthed us, and chiseling off the faces of genocidal slave owners from Mt. Rushmore, replacing them with the likenesses of real heroes, such as Sitting Bull, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony.
As the Bible says, it’s easy to see the mote in someone else’s eye while ignoring the beam in our own. Surely, it’s hypocritical to attack the flag of one political entity while waving another that represents brutalities every bit as ugly.
Dixon Wragg is a Cotati freelance writer has won awards for short fiction, short humor, poetry and his online column on critical thinking, ‘The Gospel According to Dixon.’
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