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The Waving Flag, Through a Patriot's Eyes

May 24, 2003

The Stars and Stripes seem to fly everywhere these days, from houses, shops, cars and even bicycles. It's such an impressive display of patriotism that I've been wondering how I could be so patriotic and yet feel so uneasy about it.

Why not, I thought, just join the celebration? Focus on the many wonderful things our government is doing. Perhaps the flag is supposed to symbolize just those things -- not the bad things that are of such concern to me.

Such thinking, though, is feeble rationalizing. I cannot get around the truism that the flag stands for what the nation altogether is, no more, no less. I firmly disapprove of some important government actions, vital components of the nation's entirety. Accordingly, I clearly understand that I should not, cannot, join the flag-wavers at this time.

I must, of course, respect their right to honor the flag as they wish, and I must try to keep an open mind on the issues involved. I will not, however, concede any loss of patriotism.

Dewey Wasser

Thousand Oaks

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