…to the trauma caused by the symbol of America’s freedom.
Is it just me or do other people have a little situational PTSD after the abuse our nation’s flag has endured in the last year? Usually, when I see the flag, I feel a swell of pride or nostalgia.
Nostalgia from the years of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag at the start of each school day. Or – also quite timely – from watching opening or closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
Pride from knowing our country’s history and what we’ve grown into in such a relatively short time as a nation.
But after last year…a twinge of shame and a flash of trauma have replaced those more positive associations.
Not that the shame isn’t somewhat warranted as I’ve witnessed the racial equity protests in my hometown over the past 16 months. Or watched as the GOP politicizes teaching truthful history that would reduce the cancer of white nationalism in America from growing as rampantly in future generations.
Knowledge is power.
Whiteness is not.
But the PTSD…after being caught in so many Trump Truck Parades last year, it’s haunting. People still fly various incarnations of the American flag, the Back the Blue flag or the Trump 2020 flag on their trucks as they drive through town. It’s more prevalent in the suburbs than the city proper, but I still see them on the highways close in and feel a sense of insecurity when they pass by. Also in the subs, you’ll find people flying American flags from their homes or fences in dubious proximity to their neighbor’s Black Lives Matter yard signs.
I truly and fearfully believe that it’s the leading ripples of the divisive wave that our Uncivil War will surf in on…
Our diseased national mental health crisis.
Not even the tiny flags that fire trucks – and I saw an inordinate amount of fire trucks while driving this weekend – gave me a swell of pride. I felt a little hope, but nothing that stuck around longer than it took for the fire trucks to pass by.
Honestly, the greatest hope – and I’m loathe to call it hope – I have for our country is for Darwin to throw an epic and devastating win on the board with vaccine deniers over the coming months. And I feel repulsed by the notion that a massive, locally concentrated death toll is what my “hope” is for these Stupid Americans snapping out of the gaslit hold the Svengali-like GOP and church have on their minds.
Help me, Common Sense…you’re my only hope.