Thu. May 23rd, 2024

by Ken Carman


The more someone flies a “flag” and must display it, “defend it,” the less of a patriot, or a “true American,” they are.

And I mean that in the widest, metaphoric, sense. As well as quite literal.

Boy, am I going to hear it, publishing this on the Fourth of July!

I must admit this rule started with observations regarding churches and faith…

As a kid I was a forced Baptist. Spent a lot of time with a Jewish family and their traditions: not sure which flavor. (No, that’s not a reference to any tribe of Nazi cannibals.)

I spent what seemed a lifetime in Hell; about six months worth, Earth time, living with a born again Episcopal minister and his born again son… whom God said different things to. Flirted with Methodist. She flirted back, but I wasn’t “Methodi-cal” enough for her. Spent another few years in the company of a few Fundamentalists and Pentecostals: work. (I know: not the same, though they do have similarities.) Married into a Catholic family. Been a Unitarian Universalist for 30 plus years.

Short list.

The one thing that they all have in common is that, despite having different creeds, beliefs, or “no creeds,” or no set beliefs, they all fly their metaphorical flags proudly: but often act just the opposite according to their faith.

Doesn’t matter if it’s personal contact with God, learning from each other and our different beliefs, aliens from the Planet Zoonew who deserve our slave-ish, mindless, worship. I’m kidding, of course, about the last one. But some belief systems bear a marked resemblance to that beastly belief.

Yeah, I just made a reference to “the mark of the beast.” I know: now he’ll eat me first.

The one thing they all share in common is their stated purpose, belief or goal, is usually the opposite of what their flock, and their holy men/minister/priest/rabbi etc actually do, say or how they treat others.

The same is true of flag wavers. The more they wave the more likely they are to tell anyone who disagrees with them to “Love America, or leave it.” I imagine Native Americans might wish these days they’d adopted a similar slogan, though they would have been mowed down anyway, or shoved into concentration camps… um, “reservations…” where they are free to live by their own rules… until we tell them they’re not.

The more flag wavers go all googly eyed over the flag, the more likely they would burn at the stake any one who toasts it, roasts it, yawns at it or even writes a column questioning their belief.

No, Mr. Proud American, I don’t have a lighter or a match you can borrow. And I won’t willingly stand by the stake.

Yes, folks, the flag is a symbol. It is not more important than people. If you must kill for your country, remember the operative phrase, “kill for your country.” Killing for the flag is like killing for colors of a piece of cloth: a bit oxymoron-ish, more than a bit stupid and quite evil.

Like killing for the cross.

Why is it you haven’t heard of killing for the Tao… or the menorah, at least for thousands of years?

Think if I ever do kill, I’ll do it for the peace symbol. That will confuse everyone.

Whatever you believe is fine with me, just remember that symbols are symbols and you’re supposed to be following beliefs: not heading in the opposite direction. Especially when it comes to those who aren’t into flag worship.

Do it for your country. You know, “land of the free?”

It’s the patriotic way to be.


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2011
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

By Ken Carman

Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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12 years ago

I was an Episcopalian, a Born again Christian, then after studying a copy of a bible from the 3rd century AD, I have decided that all Prophets including my beloved Jesus, were just blown up figures that men, over the centuries who changed the stories to fit the occasion as it fit. Take Hell and Revelations, not in the 3AD Bible. Same with the Koran, and the Jewish Scrolls.
That’s why I’ve become Agnostic and only believe in God himself.
One thing you will get no argument from any religion is “Do you believe in God?”
The answer is invariably yes. So why disagree when men wrote what they thought or imagined they saw?

Ana Grarian
12 years ago

Kind of like those people who say, “a lot of soldiers fought and died for your right to free speech – so you should just shut up!”

12 years ago

Only if you’re talking up to WW2 does that have a ring of truth to it. All others were either Police Actions (Korea) or down right invasions (Pick anything after that).
Then you can say that a lot of soldiers died to satisfy a specified quota determined by the defense department, based on sand table games at Ft Knox. Or the oil companies. Either answer would be correct.
I like that Avatar. Reminds me of an Octopus.

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