On flying or burning the flag

It is difficult to keep track of how many times newspersons, politicians and others have said indicting Donald Trump will tear this country apart.

Somehow they don’t understand, or they pretend they don’t know, that the damage has already been done. We need to acknowledge that reality.

Pixabay image

If Trump and numerous accomplices in his criminal enterprise are not indicted, tried, convicted and punished, we will have said goodbye to the pretty myth that no one is above the law.

Already torn apart, the U.S. will fracture further, maybe irreparably. Our justice system, deeply flawed as it has always been, will have failed more magnificently than ever before.

Justice? We will finally have to remove the very word from our vocabulary and leave a note in our collective memoirs explaining what it meant on the off chance that future generations are allowed to read about the truth.

The next step — for me, anyway — will be to get rid of a special keepsake I’ve kept around for years, the last thing I removed from my childhood home in Des Moines when our mother could no longer live there.

My siblings and I pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America every day in elementary school. We proudly displayed our own flag on the front porch at home on Independence Day. In the U.S. Navy, I learned the proper, respectful way to raise, lower and fold the flag.

For the past few years I’ve been reluctant to fly the flag at my house. I see it so often used to represent things I abhor that I can no longer unfurl it with pride. People fly huge flags next to their cowardly Let’s Go Brandon penants as they drive down the road in oversized pickup trucks. They dress in red, white and blue clown suits to attend Trump rallies. On July 4, I watched young baseball star wannabes solemnly listen to the Star-Spangled Banner before trampling three flag-themed bases with their dusty, cleated feet.

Does anyone who waves the flag actually respect the republic for which it stands or is it now just fetishism and fashion?

We will find out.

For my part, I will either fly the flag again when we actually start living up to our pledge of justice for all, or I will burn it with all due respect, as is recommended when an American flag is no longer fit to display.

No one should pledge allegiance to a flag that means nothing.