Saluting the Flag?

April 7, 2008

Is it just me or do flags have it pretty good these days?  Nobody will ever disrespect the flag.  So, is it crazy to imagine myself being treated similarly?  Now, I don’t want to sound unpatriotic, but what is people’s fascination with flags?  Can anyone tell me this?

I started thinking about this when I was at a baseball game last week.  People, en masse, raise up to salute the flag to sing to the flag to respect the flag.  These same people had cut in front of my car to steal my parking spot almost killing me, walked directly into me almost knocking me down – and when I said, “Excuse me?” these same people gave me the finger and told me to go “Fuck myself.”  One guy even spit in my direction, almost landing on my shoes because I was wearing the away teams hat.

Does this strike anyone else as insane?  That an inanimate object, a flag, is treated about 30-40 times better than I am.  I am a living human, complete with feelings and emotions and people spit on me.  They curse at me.  Yet, when it comes to the flag – noooo, can’t say anything bad about the flag – have to take off your hat and salute the flag, be silent and respectful to the flag.

And if people treated the flag the way they treated me?  Could you imagine the uproar?  Could you imagine if people in the parking lot ran over, cursed at and spit on a flag?  Every single person watching would have run to the flag’s rescue.  They would have gone beserk and attacked the perpetrators and and called the local authorities.  Yet when this happens to me?  Nothing.  Passers by just went about their day like nothing happened, some even laughing to themselves.  Is that so funny that I’m treated worse than a piece of cloth?

Is it too much to ask for a society where I’m treated better than an inanimate object?  Is that really such a crazy notion?  Is nobody else boggled by the fact that if you do anything disrespectful to a flag you are thrown in jail and considered a second class citizen where if you do the same thing to me there are no consequences?  Can somebody please explain this to me.  Again, I’m as patriotic as the next guy.  I understand it’s not just the flag, but what it stands for – but still, shouldn’t I be treated at least as well as the flag?  Is that really too much to ask for?  I beg somebody to answer this for me, please.

Update – no pictures of black men holding an umbrella (one post below) so far so the pot for sending me one is growing.  The list of 5 disabilities that I wouldn’t mind having will be published tomorrow.