Fly Your Flag

Fly Your Flag

by | Jun 14, 2024 | Democracy

Happy Flag Day! A lot of folks who support the guy who tried to overthrow the US government will be flying the US flag today. I’m proud of our flag and the ideals it stands for. But a symbol is meaningless if it’s not backed up by action. 

Lately this shirt’s been my flag. I wear it walking my dogs, at the grocery store, at music festivals, everywhere. Not so long ago I would have felt idiotic wearing the same shirt everywhere. Now it’s just another part of my action plan. 

To explain why, let me tell you about A Child in Time, by the great novelist Ian McEwan. I read it, hated it, and never forgot it. That’s because I’m a parent and it’s about every parent’s worst nightmare: having your child vanish forever.

It happens in chapter one, over a span of just a few minutes. A man takes his three-year-old to the grocery store. He looks away, turns back, and she’s gone. He spends those few minutes suppressing his urge to panic, convincing himself that nobody took her—surely she’s right around the corner! He doesn’t want to make a scene in the middle of the store, where everyone else is acting normal. Because he can’t bring himself to yell, he squanders that narrow window of time when he could have saved his child, and he endures unimaginable loss.

Our country is on the brink of unimaginable loss—the loss of our democracy. (Yes, the United States is a democracy. And a republic.)

With or without Trump, the Republican Party has adopted his antidemocratic tendencies. We’re living them in Tennessee.

But to many Americans, including many Tennesseans, that sounds like hyperbole. Maybe they aren’t paying attention; maybe they haven’t been personally affected yet. For whatever reason, everything still looks normal to them. We don’t have time for them to wake up on their own.

So don’t squander the time we have left. Shout if you need to. Spend every second you can spare furthering the cause of democracy. Don’t be embarrassed to fly your flag. Our beautiful country is worth it.