Criticism of the American Flag
Criticism From the political Left / Progressives against the American Flag:
Too many "Progressives" reject the Flag as a unifying symbol of our Democracy - instead accepting the projected values and meaning given it by the Right/extremists. Some on the political Left mistakenly surrender the flag as they consider the flag limited in its value as merely a "Nationalistic prop" used by politicians to manipulate Americans for their approval and support of wars and global corporate interests, immoral government actions and to seduce Americans to accept implementation of policies against their own interests." For example: "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people". Howard Zinn.
Our Flag has been embraced by every major American Progressive movement. Criticizing and rejecting our Flag (an inanimate object) for how it has been manipulated and coopted by the Right - is a form of "blaming the victim". Given the weakened state of our Democracy, the growing divisions between Left and Right - we can no longer afford the intellectual luxury of rejection and self-criticism of our Flag. The Flag is a powerful American symbol and too many Progressives volitionally cede and ignore it's power to unify our causes and sense of common Nation. The Civil Rights Movement "reclaimed our Flag" (see images on HOMEPAGE). By ceding the Flag to Right Wing extremists Progressives disrespect the Flag; we who defend and reclaim it in action must also visibly willfully reclaim it. Our goal is to restore and specifically revitalize the ideals and image of the Flag as a part of our disparate struggles. Since the nomination, election and complicity of the GOP to enable Donald J. Trump to degrade our Democracy, destroy norms and institutions vital to our Democracy - we are facing National crises. Fortunately, the failing condition of our Democracy that led to the election of Donald Trump has spurred Patriotic activism as a response. Millions of Americans are mobilizing, engaging our Democracy - the only chance we have to reclaim our Democracy is by engaging millions more people still on the sidelines - who have never been politically active before into our Democracy and struggles. Those of us engaged in fights for our Democracy - need a unifying symbol more powerful than "pink pussy hats", we do not need a new symbol - we must reclaim the most powerful symbol of our liberal democracy - our Flag. We who oppose Trump and advocate for fixing our Democracy - are Patriots and are reclaiming our Flag in action. Our legitimacy and moral power are rooted in the freedoms outlined in the U.S. Constitution - and as engaged Americans we best represent and are represented by the American Flag. This is the last chance we may have of reclaiming the Flag. IF as a "Progressive" you are stuck on the meaning the political Right gives the Flag - you cede it's righteousness and power - and hinder the broadening of our ranks - and you are not part of the solution - but part of the problem.
The polarization of America that Trump and Trumpism have exposed, exploited and expands. To reunify America - will require a) reconciliation and cooperation across the political spectrum and as the Resistance to have as our Flag as a common symbol that will promote unity rather than antipathy b) there will be a backlash to Resistance efforts. "Patriotism" and our Flag will be used to motivate and further exclude/marginalize our Patriotic efforts. By directly reclaiming the Flag as we protect and engage our Democracy -we withhold this powerful symbol from being used against us.
We who fight to save our Democracy and against Trumpism - honor the Flag as the symbol of the best ideals of this great Nation. So, as you fight, resist, engage (there are literally millions of us-and millions more) like you - fellow Patriot! The Flag is rightfully ours.
Criticism From the political Right against the Flag:
To the political Right the American Flag represents a narrow and specific set of ideological ideals: a narrow exclusionary definition of patriotism (usually Nationalism), masked as "conservatism", and platform/symbol to determine (and often exclude) who is and is not - a "real American".
American ideal values are by definition all-encompassing - with a goal of liberty and justice for all. The Flag is a symbol that each American has the power to bestow his/her own ideals. So as we fight for liberty and justice we manifest it's true ideals as established by the Founding Fathers. Our reclaiming the Flag honors the Flag itself and all those who have served and died serving our country - so we may have the luxury of living a moral, representative Democracy - "of the people, by the people and for the people". Waving a "Rainbow" flag and an American Flag together are manifest of a healthy Democracy. We reject the coopting of the Flag by extremist politicians, political organizations as they brand their exclusionary and anti-democractic, anti-American rhetoric and agendas.