Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Happy Flag Day!

 Posted by Hello

(This quite original interpretation of Old Glory comes courtesy of an unidentified student at Westminster College, UT)

When I was growing up, my mom never missed an opportunity to put her flag out - be it for Washington's or Lincoln's birthdays, Patriots' Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day...she had quite a collection, too: a Betsy Ross, a Bennington, a number of different versions of the stars and stripes (Alaska and Hawaii were admitted into the Union when she was a teenager). She took such pride in her flag collection. As a kid, I didn't really get it until I moved someplace where people didn't put flags up, people didn't generally consider serving in the military a life/career option, people generally just didn't care.

After 9/11, the woman who ran our building's copy center put out a pile of color flag prints. Since I was new to the company at that time (had just started working there maybe two months earlier), I took one for myself and then shyly asked if I could have another one to put up in my room at home. Copy Lady told me to take as many as I wanted; that was what they were there for.

I pinned my little flag up in my cubicle next to my monitor (I work in a social services agency in Cambridge, MA, and since I was new, I didn't want to attract any 'negative' attention.), and went on with my business. In spite of the inconspicuous location, people still noted my flag. Far from saying anything untoward, they started asking for copies. I directed them up to the copy center. By the next week, the Copy Lady told me that she had to print out two more runs of 100 apiece.

Since then, most of the flags got taken down. As I said, this is Social Services and it's Cambridge. My little banner eventually had to come down when I moved to a much smaller space. It (along with a little flag I picked up at, of all places, a bodega in my neighborhood) goes up for the same holidays as my mom's flags do, however. I don't have my own house, and I'd not want anyone messing with my flags anyway (That's the kind of neighborhood I live in. Some punk kid would do something, trust me.), so my little bit of reverence at work makes me happy for now.

Both Sisu and Neo-Neocon (locals!) have some very inspiring posts on Flag Day and what it means to them. Heartening for me, too, to realize that I'm not an island in a sea of blue.


Lileks has another a propos as hell post on his glorious new screedblog.

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