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Fly the American flag today
September 12, 2001 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Fly the American flag today - If you have an American flag, please make sure it's flying in front of your home or place of business today, at half-staff if possible.
posted by SpecialK (44 comments total)

 
Apologies for the front-page null-link, but I feel that it's important.
posted by SpecialK at 12:14 PM on September 12, 2001


You should discuss why you think this is important.
posted by Doug at 12:29 PM on September 12, 2001


Fly your flags, but don't tote your guns.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 12:37 PM on September 12, 2001


i hung up my flag this morning before leaving for work.
posted by cheetagrrl at 12:48 PM on September 12, 2001


That's a great idea, the flag is a powerful symbol. However, it's just a symbol. Sometimes you have to pick up the stick and take care of business. It will not be a cause for celebration, nor a moment of glory... just a message that we'll fight to defend attacks against freedom.
posted by padinka at 12:51 PM on September 12, 2001


i got this as a chain letter just now:

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given
> >
> > recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from
> >
> > Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television
> >
> > commentator. What follows is the full text of his
> >
> > trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional
> >
> > Record:
> >
> >
> >
> > "This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the
> >
> > Americans as the most generous and possibly the least
> >
> > appreciated people on all the earth.
> >
> >
> >
> > Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and
> >
> > Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the
> >
> > Americans who poured in billions of dollars and
> >
> > forgave other billions in debts. None of these
> >
> > countries is today paying even the interest on its
> >
> > remaining debts to the United States.
> >
> >
> >
> > When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it
> >
> > was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward
> >
> > was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of
> >
> > Paris. I was there. I saw it.
> >
> >
> >
> > When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United
> >
> > States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59
> >
> > American communities were flattened by tornadoes.
> >
> > Nobody helped.
> >
> >
> >
> > The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped
> >
> > billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now
> >
> > newspapers in those countries are writing about the
> >
> > decadent, warmongering Americans.
> >
> >
> >
> > I'd like to see just one of those countries that is
> >
> > gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar
> >
> > build its own airplane. Does any other country in the
> >
> > world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the
> >
> > Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why
> >
> > don't they fly them? Why do all the International
> >
> > lines except Russia fly American Planes?
> >
> >
> >
> > Why does no other land on earth even consider putting
> >
> > a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese
> >
> > technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German
> >
> > technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about
> >
> > American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -
> >
> > not once, but several times and safely home again.
> >
> >
> >
> > You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs
> >
> > right in the store window for everybody to look at.
> >
> > Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.
> >
> > They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless
> >
> > they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American
> >
> > dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
> >
> >
> >
> > When the railways of France, Germany and India were
> >
> > breaking down through age, it was the Americans who
> >
> > rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the
> >
> > New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an
> >
> > old caboose. Both are still broke.
> >
> >
> >
> > I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to
> >
> > the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me
> >
> > even one time when someone else raced to the Americans
> >
> > in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even
> >
> > during the San Francisco earthquake.
> >
> >
> >
> > Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one
> >
> > Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get
> >
> > kicked around. They will come out of this thing with
> >
> > their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled
> >
> > to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating
> >
> > over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one
> >
> > of those."
posted by jfc at 12:55 PM on September 12, 2001


Doug: if you have to ask...

A better question: why isn't it appropriate?

Most of my immediate neighbors (within 2 blocks) are flying flags today, myself included.
posted by Big Dave at 12:55 PM on September 12, 2001


That email just went around our office, too. Oh my.
posted by tippiedog at 12:56 PM on September 12, 2001


I got it too, but doubt its veracity. Any Canadians have info?
posted by owillis at 12:57 PM on September 12, 2001


jfc: It's from the seventies. Moving, but slightly innacurate now.
posted by pnevares at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2001


To me, flying your flag today is an act of defiance to terrorists. I'm usually an anti-patriotic person - I dislike the way our government works in some cases, I'm highly cynical and critical of politicians.

However, I beleive that today's a day to put all of that aside, and I think flying your flag today is a symbol of that.
posted by SpecialK at 1:01 PM on September 12, 2001


why?
posted by kchristidis at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2001


There's a lot of bullshit flying around. Politicians clearly capitalizing on the event to make themselves look good. Politicians coloring the event to aid their agenda. I just wanted to know why the average person feels they should fly the flag today. No right or wrong answer, just wondering what people who aren't full of crap are thinking.
posted by Doug at 1:21 PM on September 12, 2001


i have a US flag up every day on my wall. its look is appealing.

thought you should all know.

love.

fishfucekr.
posted by fishfucker at 1:22 PM on September 12, 2001


I don't think being patriotic has anything to with the current state of our government. It's about a love for AMERICA, because it's the closest thing to FREEDOM that we have.
posted by padinka at 1:33 PM on September 12, 2001


Yesterday, terrorists attacked the American people indiscriminately; they murdered without respect for nationality, beliefs, or political orientation.

Flying the American flag is a symbolic gesture. It shows that though we mourn our loses, the terrorists didn't win.

Flying the American flag shows that we are one people, united despite this tragedy. It shows that we condemn this terrible act with one collective voice.
posted by gd779 at 1:35 PM on September 12, 2001


just wondering what people who aren't full of crap are thinking.

In other words, the people who think like you? Though I have no idea what sort of thinking that is. Flying a flag today represents "politicans" (as a group) brainwashing the sheep into supporting "policies" (presumably conservative ones ... ain't that always the way?) that they otherwise would not?

Hey, who knows, perhaps this whole mess is just some secret "politicians'" plan to start some new big Medicare funding scheme!
posted by aaron at 1:37 PM on September 12, 2001



Damn.. I didn't realize Metafilter was so leftist...
posted by padinka at 1:43 PM on September 12, 2001


No crap, Padinka. Jeez.
posted by SpecialK at 1:52 PM on September 12, 2001


Aaron, call me crazy, but I feel that the "spontaneous" eruption of song yesterday smelled a bit like Bullshit to me. The fact that we were constantly told our "freedom" was under attack, when it clearly isn't was also a bit troubling to me. I wanted to know why SpecialK thinks we should all fly a flag, cause SpecialK isn't trying to get me to vote for him next election.
But maybe you think politicians are always sincere, and were sincere yesterday in how they comported themselves on TV. You are seeing anti-conservativism everywhere is in your own mind, but it wasn't in my post.
posted by Doug at 1:56 PM on September 12, 2001


No crap intended, Special. It's just a liberal bunch.
posted by padinka at 2:00 PM on September 12, 2001


i'm not flying a flag. i don't think americans need to be united in their reactions to this whatsoever. we're americans, so obviously this affects us. but just because i'm american and i love america doesn't mean that i'm going to rally around the flag or george w. just because he's suddenly supposed to be our leader.

this is a tragedy and i don't think anybody should be telling anyone else how to think about it or deal with it. i don't think "democracy" or "the beacon of light" was attacked. i think the united states was attacked. and flying the flag just means that you're telling everyone to go out and fly flags that doesn't already have them. and you're saying that the people who are flying flags are what americans should look like. and if you're from the middle east or you happen to be a muslim and you're not flying a flag, well then obviously you're against america.

i'd prefer no jingoist rhetoric in dealing with this tragedy on a personal level.
posted by benjamin at 2:04 PM on September 12, 2001


padinka. it was only a matter of time. we had a minor office pool as to how long it would take for the leftists to rationalize this event.
posted by jbelshaw at 2:04 PM on September 12, 2001


I for one will not fly an American flag - to me it still represents a conceited and oppressive country. The fact that America was the victim of attack yesterday will not change how I feel.

One thing that I wish people would discuss (but know they won't) are the legitimate gripes millions of people around the world have against the US (in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, etc.) - people who have suffered far worse than what happened yesterday. Does that jutify the attacks yesterday? Of course not. All I ask is that people look inward as well as out.

We Are Not Innocent (yes, I am an American).
posted by mapalm at 2:06 PM on September 12, 2001


mapalm, you've pissed me off. You're calling the U.S. a conceited and oppressive country? "Kettle? Hello, this is Pot. You're black." What about Israel oppressing fellow countrymen because they're different religion? That doesn't happen (as much/as openly) here in the U.S. Yes, I know the angle you're going to take, based on your Olin Films connection, but I don't care. I am not excusing the U.S. for any past transgressions; we are not perfect or innocent, but I've got 2 words for you: F*** You!
posted by msacheson at 2:17 PM on September 12, 2001


As Americans we greatly prize our ability to criticize our government and our values.

As a people, we also need a common symbol of our freedom. The symbol is the American flag.

If you decide that symbol represents something you hate, then you do not understand what the flag represents. If you feel the United States is an oppressive and conceited country that is your choice of opinion... as an American.

That flag represents your ability to voice that opinion and not get shot.

Why do you then attack that symbol which gives you such a right?

Flying the flag at half-mast, which is the main reason for this thread, is a gesture of sorrow for the loss of life in yesterday's attack as well as a gesture of defiance.

You are displaying the agreed and immediately recognized symbol of this nation's strength and solidarity.
posted by linux at 2:22 PM on September 12, 2001


Fly a flag, shoot off some fireworks, or close your eyes and pray for all the good people in the world. Whatever. Who cares? Sheesh! In the end, America still stands for FREEDOM. If your not behind the concept of freedom, then you've got problems.

It's funny that the Palestines were dancing in the streets in celebration and we can't all get together and display a little patriotism.
posted by padinka at 2:28 PM on September 12, 2001


Maybe we ought to gather some singer-celebrities and fashion a "We Are the World"-ish retaliation?
posted by jeehosephat at 2:55 PM on September 12, 2001


people who have suffered far worse than what happened yesterday

Yesterday was unprecidented. How would one go about suffering far worse than burning and suffocating and then falling 100 stories to one's death?

Give me a break. There is way too much mamby-pamby idealism going on here. Let it go. We've got to band together as a Nation, not use this an opportunity to come up with excuses for terrorism.

What does it take to reduce people's cynicism nowadays?
posted by glenwood at 2:57 PM on September 12, 2001


What does it take to reduce people's cynicism nowadays?

I believe that would be if a terrorist walked up to their house, personally slit the throats of their children with three-inch blades, then told them, "That's for what I have been taught to believe America has done to my people."

That is essentially what happened to the surviving relatives and friends of those aboard four commercial jetliners and the people going to work at the WTC and the Pentagon.

I wonder how much of our cynicism would survive then.
posted by linux at 3:06 PM on September 12, 2001


Just to let you guys know that every single person in Ireland is thinking of you now and wish we could help you now like you helped us. You have our complete solidarity and with reference to an earlier posting, we too are flying flags. e.g. at sports events that we happening that were too late to cancel there were minutes of silence observed and american flags being waved in the crowds. This really means nothing to you at this time I know but we wait eagerly for news of your deserved retribution.
posted by tbone at 3:11 PM on September 12, 2001


I always remember what political commentator Barry Crimmins said about the yellow ribbons in the Post-Gulf-War.

[paraphrase] Americans are being demonized for not wearing yellow ribbons. You know what? We all carry a yellow ribbon in our hearts. [end]

I believe the urge NOT to join in literal flag waving is perfectly valid. Just as flag waving is. Not everyone responds to things in the same way. Some see this flag waving as inappropriate. It's my opinion that we should let them feel that way.

The "Fly The American Flag Today" is taken as a challenge by some. As someone else telling them how to express what they feel inside. All I can say is, express that feeling in any way you can except violence against others.

To go back what Barry Crimmins said, he went on to say how he carries a yellow ribbon in his heart for all the oppressed people of the world.

Not everyone wants the same symbol to express their feeling, or indeed any symbol at all. But let's all let each other do things our own way. hmm awkward sentence there. Anyway hopefully you get the idea.

kafkaesque (The liberal with a small "L" crying in front of the TV.)
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:01 PM on September 12, 2001


The Flag of the United States of America.
posted by linux at 5:23 PM on September 12, 2001


Benjamin, I think the point is that flying the American flag demonstrates your solidarity with a community that transcends your own personal beliefs. That community, 50 years ago, would have been America alone, but today that community certainly transcends the nation. We've all seen the emotional outpouring and support from even the most unlikely of nations. I seriously doubt they all endorse or want to rally around that dude in the Oval Office. I'm not a big fan of globalization or late capitalism, I assure you. However, I am flying the American flag, because America is my home and despite its faults and atrocities I love it--like an unwanted friend, like a wanted friend--and I feel that my home was violated yesterday. Above that, I know the vast majority of Americans consider America home and feel violated, and that solidarity is indeed necessary.

You better be damn thankful you even have the freedom to disagree with dubya. If anything, fly the flag for that.

[On a sadder note, I hope I don't have to swallow my words, considering how war hysteria often leads to patriotic chauvenism and racism.]
posted by prozaction at 8:20 PM on September 12, 2001


Just to let you guys know that every single person in Ireland is thinking of you now and wish we could help you now like you helped us. You have our complete solidarity and with reference to an earlier posting, we too are flying flags. e.g. at sports events that we happening that were too late to cancel there were minutes of silence observed and american flags being waved in the crowds. This really means nothing to you at this time I know but we wait eagerly for news of your deserved retribution.

This kind of thing kicks absolute ass and makes me tear up like a little baby. It's nice to see that some people view flying an American flag as an act of support in a time of need and not as implicit approbation of every act of the US government. Very refreshing.

[On a sadder note, I hope I don't have to swallow my words, considering how war hysteria often leads to patriotic chauvenism and racism.]

Amen to that. Gotta fight this crap.
posted by estopped at 8:35 PM on September 12, 2001


tbone, it means everything to us.
posted by prozaction at 8:57 PM on September 12, 2001


mapalm - Last time I checked you are free to go elsewhere...the US will not keep you from leaving it's borders.
posted by canoeguide at 10:03 PM on September 12, 2001


Two thoughts:

1. When do we get an Earth flag?

2. Despite my personal feelings (or yours), one of the rights of Americans is to choose whether to fly the flag or not. Heck, you don't have to salute it, or sing the Anthem to it if you don't want to. It's your choice. You've got the right to be indifferent towards your country, or wholeheartedly support it, or entirely hate it.

Massive tragedies such as this only bring out the truest feelings. But let's not attack people who have opinions different than our own, for if we do, we lessen ourselves.
posted by hijinx at 7:33 AM on September 13, 2001


msacheson: mind your language, kiddo
posted by mapalm at 9:14 AM on September 13, 2001


And msacheson, your argument about Israel is the rambling of an idiot. Think a little more, read a little more...free your mind...and don't ever swear at me again.
posted by mapalm at 10:03 AM on September 13, 2001


hijinx--that's all very progressive of you. just remember that what affords you the right to choose as you seem so proud to parade is your status as an American. not as a citizen under the 'earth flag.'
posted by prozaction at 11:30 AM on September 13, 2001


prozaction: I haven't forgotten that. But more than I am an American, I am a human. I'm a citizen of earth. You are, too.

Borders are lines on a map.
posted by hijinx at 11:55 AM on September 13, 2001


i am about to go buy a flag to put in front of my parent's house so that you don't think that my family is anti american. we are very american, we love being here in america, we love everything american, it's people, it's land, it's culture (s), it's freedom, it's wide variety of choices for professions, everything about it. we loved it before we came here, and learned to love it more after coming here.
but i am getting the flag merely to keep people wanting to hurt my family , from questioning how american they are, because they look different.
having the flag does not make me love america more, it just means that i have a flag in front of my house. loving america is in my heart, body and soul.
posted by m2bcubed at 2:38 PM on September 13, 2001


i hope that what i said made some sense. i am afraid that you'll judge my grammar now that you know that i am not originally from the country. i am in a rush to go home...thus hit the post button too soon.
posted by m2bcubed at 2:40 PM on September 13, 2001


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