Thursday, July 02, 2009

Patriotic HNT

Patriotism. What an interesting concept. I don't think that any two of us have the same idea of what it is. After 9/11 there was a great deal of "patriotism" being shown across the country. Sales of US flags skyrocketed, as did those magnetic red, white and blue 'ribbons'. Almost every vehicle sported one, and you obviously were un-American if yours didn't. I never purchased one.

To others, "patriotism" means rooting for Team USA as they kick other country's teams asses at the Olympics. And display their hard-fought right to bitch and moan when things don't go their way.

To even others, "patriotism" means serving their country wherever they are deployed. Yet there's even patriots within the military who abuse their power and don't play by the accepted rules of war.

I like to think of "patriotism" in terms of what Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin did. Never heard of her? She is the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Oh, yeah...she's from Montana. She was elected prior to the 19th Amendment (allowing women to vote), though Montana extended that right to women 6 years before it was ratified. She is the only Congressional member to have voted against the entry into both WWI and WWII. And was, in fact, the only dissenting voice in 1941. She was an instrumental figure in the women's suffrage cause, promoted legislation protecting the health of women and children, and was the founding vice-president of the ACLU. This is a woman who served her country nobly, in spite of criticism and ridicule for pacifist views. No chest thumping, bellowing show of "patriotism" from this woman. Just a quiet execution of her duties, as asked of her Montana constituents. Sadly, we don't see much of that these days...

So where am I going with this? Back to the other examples thought of as "patriotism". Jumping on the "US is #1" feeling after 9/11, a group of individuals proposed the raising of a giant US flag that could be seen from as many points in town as possible. Again, I was not in favor of it. Not because of any anti-American sentiments, but because I felt it was being done for the wrong reasons. Regardless, it breezed through the city council in record time (and with the waiving of numerous hearings), and a big celebration was held when they raised the flag for the first time, and everyone was there. And what has happened since? To someone's credit, the flags (there's different ones for different weather) have been cared for quite well. However, the little park area around isn't quite as lucky. While it was plastic patriotism that got the flag raised, it seems to have disappeared in keeping things in prime shape.

So what do I think "patriotism" is all about? I honestly don't have a clue. But what I find interesting is that, in spite of my personal opposition to how this flag came to where it's found now, I find that it looks pretty damned good. Especially when there's a breeze. That little puff in my chest, and hitch in my breath, and maybe tear in my eye? Yeah, the flag can do that. Maybe that's what it's all about for me.

This picture really does no justice in showing its immense size.
The square footage is literally more than my apartment!

"A sweet, little, beautiful one just like you
I want a beautiful, wonderful, perfect All American

Now, he's wrapped around her finger
She's the center of his whole world
And his heart belongs to that sweet, little, beautiful, wonderful, perfect
All American girl."
--"All-American Girl" by Carrie Underwood

This one should be easy, but she'll be revealed late Thursday afternoon.
The star-spangled Mystery Guest is, of course, Vixen. Be sure to check out her site for a little more patriotism!

A good showing of HNTers over at "...the Other HNT" this week. Be sure to stop by and visit, and leave some comment love! Yes, it's NSFW!
For those who plan to celebrate all weekend, party hard, but be safe. And don't be stupid! And above all, as I mention every year, DON'T DO THIS!!!

And if you think only guys do that sort of thing...


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