Thursday, 31 May 2007

The Statue of Liberty and the American Flag

The Flag
Jehovah’s Witnesses were pretty much the only people in school that would not stand up and pledge allegiance to the flag. All of my other classmates and I would stand up together while the Star Spangled Banner played ofver the loudspeaker, waiting until the end, when we would place our right hands over our hearts and recite the well rehearsed speech.

It was one of those things that you just did. You said it. I said it. Over and over again. Day after day. Since moving here, I’ve heard people say that just this sort of mass indoctrination is what corrupts minds, makes drones out of entire populations. That is, of course, an extreme view, and utterly untrue, right?

The first time I’ve really thought of the importance of a flag was recently, when Russia put a steel flag under the North Pole. What significance that flag can have! For an object to be abel to stake a claim over a thing previously in communal custody—it seemed like something straight out of a movie, or out of a history book, but definitely not something in my life. The American flag never had that power when we were standing, sleepily pledging allegiance to it. Of course, you could make a parallel between an “unclaimed” piece of land and a child’s mind…

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