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A Hippie Pacifist who Respects the Flag

16 Comments

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “flag,” to be used any way we want. I like the freedom of that any way we want part.

It still hurts to remember that on January 6, rioters tore down the American flag and threw it on the ground to replace it with one of their TRUMP flags. It hurts that rioters carrying American flags beat other people in their attempted coup of the US government. I don’t often write about such things, preferring to share good news in an attempt to bring balance to the force, as small as this attempt might be, like throwing a pebble in the ocean…. But some things we need to remember, even if they are painful. We need to not forget that this happened. We need to work for peace and also protect our democracy.

My father, being a Marine for 20 years, instilled in me a respect for the American flag. Even as a hippie and a pacifist, I maintained this respect. Never let a flag touch the ground. Fold it properly. If you have to retire it, the flag is to be burned in a ceremony. There are few man-made things that I have this kind of respect for.

When I was a child and we were driving on base when the flag was being lowered as signaled by a loud bugle, my dad would pull over, or everyone stopped in the road, and we all sat at attention. Even as an adult, just a couple of years ago, when David and I were walking along the riverfront and the Coast Guard ship sounded a bugle to lower the flag, it was not unusual for us to stop and stand silently as the flag was lowered. David used to have a flag selling business, plus his dad was in the military too, so he gets that stuff. It’s imbedded in us.

Reading my dad’s letters from Vietnam has gotten me fascinated by studying the Vietnam war. I can honor and appreciate our soldiers even if I disagree with war.

This just goes to show that a hippie pacifist can be patriotic. One of my former co-workers was surprised to learn that I was a democrat. She said, “but you’re so patriotic!” I was surprised to learn she was not a democrat, because she’s such a nature lover. Just goes to show we don’t all fit into neat little boxes. In fact, we have a lot more in common, and more diversity within our groups, than the news media or social media might have us think.

This reminds me of something I have in my drafts….. I didn’t plan this, but it fits here.

“For all of you who aren’t sure, it is possible to be gay and Christian.
It’s also possible to believe in God and science.
It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.
It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men.
It’s possible to have privilege and be discriminated against, to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.
It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and still believe in one’s right to defend one’s self, family, and property.
It’s possible to be anti-war and pro-military.
It is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions.
It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police.
It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant.
It is possible to be Muslim and also suffer at the hands of terrorists.
It is possible to be a non-American fighting for the American dream.
It is possible to be different and the same.
It is possible to be spiritual and not follow a religion.
We are all walking contradictions of what “normal” looks like.
Let humanity and love win.”

(I found this on Facebook showing  it is possible to find something good on Facebook.)

All or nothing thinking divides us. The world is much more complex than black or white, or even gray. There are many more colors and color combinations. Even more than red, white, and blue. When we recognize, respect, and honor our diversity, the world will become more balanced and more beautiful.

Here’s my Unity Bird in alcohol ink on tile

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by our host, Linda G. Hill. For more streams, rules, etc, visit: The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 6, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

16 thoughts on “A Hippie Pacifist who Respects the Flag

  1. JoAnna, I like (and agree with ) everything on this post! Your Unity Bird is lovely, and my answer to the rhetorical questions on the Facebook quote would be “yes” in every case! ❀ Enjoy your weekend!

  2. You took this flag a long way.

  3. Same here instilled from my dads Navy days and even after. Life long to our core patriotism. How absolutely wonderful is your post! My heart β™₯️ is full. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Excellent post. Having served in the military, my respect for our flag runs deep. I still stand and put my hand over my heart. I will never forget January 6th, but my goal is to heal. I am not sure what it will take, but I am hopeful that we can achieve it.

  5. Beautiful post, JoAnna! I can appreciate your respect for the flag. When Guyana became an independent nation, I, too, felt such respect for our flag and what it stood for. Since moving to the USA, I experience the same emotion and respect for the American flag. There’s something about the power of a flag to unite and rally those who accept its meaning and value in their lives. That became so evident on January 6, as you’ve pointed out. So much truth in the Facebook quote you’ve shared. We are, indeed, complex beings. Your “Unity Bird” is a beauty πŸ™‚

  6. Thank you for sharing!!.. The flag itself is just a piece of cloth, the respect is for what the flag stands for “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (The Declaration of Independence)…. πŸ™‚

    Unfortunately there are those in today’s world societies with a closed mind (especially with religion) but hopefully with technology today’s generations will overcome the prejudice, etc.. β€œWe can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ( Plato)… πŸ™‚

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

  7. Until recent years, I shared your sentiments toward the flag, saw it as a symbol of equality, of justice, of a nation striving to overcome it’s beginnings. But, by the time Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016, I no longer saw the flag as anything more than a piece of cloth, and a symbol of white supremacy. I feel the same today, though I wish I didn’t. Just waving a flag, as those who attacked Congress and the Capitol on January 6th did, does not make one a patriot. Fighting for justice for all, fighting against white supremacy, against those who would use their wealth and power to keep the rest of us under their thumbs, that is what being a patriot is about. Sigh. Sorry … didn’t mean to step onto my soapbox here, my friend. Stepping down now … hugs.

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