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I Hate The American Flag

July 2, 2011

Ooooh! I bet I just got your blood a boiling with that title, now didn’t I? You saw them there fightin’ words and decided you were gonna come on over here and put old Surly in her place. Gone too far this time haven’t I? It’s one thing to be mockin’ those Japanese and their crazy sex toys and passion for Hello Kitty, but quite another to trash talkin’ Old Glory. Just settle down and pop a couple of your blood pressure pills.

I got home from work yesterday and discovered that I’d been flagged by the local realtor again this year. This is an annual ritual in pissing me off. I hate these damn things. First off they are cheesy looking. Secondly, if I wanted lawn ornaments I’d have a politically incorrect lawn jockey and some garden gnomes running loose. Not a cheap plastic American flag. The other problem is that once I’ve been flagged, it becomes my responsibility to dispose of it. While the Supreme Court is fine with me burning the flag, I’m pretty sure a Hazmat team would be called in and my neighbourhood cordoned off if I tried to put a match to this thing. The fumes alone would take out an entire city block. God knows what these things are made of. So, what am I to do with it? I can’t put it in the trash. Flag etiquette says I can’t let it touch the floor, so I’m pretty sure I’m breaking protocol and at least one federal statute by tossing it in the rubbish bin. Keep it? Where? Do I put it in a flower pot? Hang it in my living room? God I hate cheap plastic American flags.

It’s not so much the flag itself that I hate, nor what it stands for. I’m proud to be an American, don’t get me wrong. What I hate is what we do with it. We don’t just hang the flag outside our homes and businesses. No. We find ways and places to stick it that just don’t always seem quite appropriate. I really don’t think this is what Major Robert Anderson had in mind when his actions help popularize the hanging of the American flag on homes and businesses in 1861. I’m pretty sure neither he, nor Betsy Ross, could have conceived of an American flag tampon.

We don’t just hang our flags out on our porches on special occasions. Instead, we put it on nearly every conceivable and inconceivable surface. We make decals, stickers, posters, paintings, and clothing. It is one of the most abused copyright free emblems in the world. How we use it and when we wave it says a great deal about us. Sometimes what it says, well… it ain’t pretty.

And, as if wearing it on our clothes was not enough, there are some who will go the extra mile. To each his own, I guess? I wonder how this goes over with potential employers.

We’re also willing to spend inordinate amounts of money painting it on our cars. Dude, seriously, you’re not picking up chicks in either of these rides.

And to add insult to injury… or pepperoni at least… we make American flag pizzas.

I bet you’re thinkin’: “You’re such a snob Surly. So what if people want to show off their patriotism by wearing a flag to cover their crotch? Live and let live.” To which I say, fair enough, just don’t plant it in my yard or show up to my Fourth of July beach party wearing a Stars and Stripes thong, or it’s game on bitch.

Have a wonderful 4th of July.

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