Public radio has been focused a lot lately in its timely fashion on the history of the flag and Americans' seemingly unique obsession with waving it, wrapping themselves in it, and identifying with it every characteristic they view as American.
I wonder why the flag has grown so important to Americans that any perceived slight of it constitutes a breach tantamount to treason. Perhaps it is only our equally characteristic tendentious tendency to take up sides and polarize, in a tug of wills that ends up with everyone on their asses looking like a fool.
Maybe it is just because I am the child of a person not born in the States that I have always viewed this attitude as suspect, but I have always stood apart from it and viewed it ironically. At the same time, I am nothing if not an American, who cannot imagine life in a place where free speech is not permitted. If people want to behave like asses, I will graciously tolerate it, if they equally allow me to take the chance of behaving in an asinine way myself.