I’m almost embarrassed to fly the flag of the United States.

In the past I put the flag out at the “normal” holidays, of which Fourth of July was one. I no longer have a flag or holder so now I don’t have to make the decision to do so or not.

The flag of the United States. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

In the past, though, I never thought twice about it. It seemed like the patriotic, American thing to do. I was proud to be an American, proud of what this country stood for, proud to call the United States home.

Proud is definitely not the word I would use today. Conflicted, sad, concerned, even scared—those are some of the feelings I have toward the United States today.

It’s not just the Trumpian cult. However, that does make me believe our democracy is threatened.

Don’t even get me started on the Supreme Court.

Our government overall causes me angst. The more I learn about what went on in the past, learn what I wasn’t taught, learn about the depths of racism, learn more about systemic poverty and the culpability of corporations, learn more about white men in particular quashing anyone who might be perceived as a threat to their power, well, I feel a bit overwhelmed.

But I keep wanting to learn. It’s incumbent we all become more educated.

There is no utopia. But what we have now in this country isn’t working for anybody except the 1 percenters.

I want to be a proud American again. Maybe one day. I’m just not sure how to get there.

Unfortunately, most of the U.S. flags I see today (other than at government buildings) are in the back of pickups, usually flying next to a Trump flag.

It’s like the Trumpsters have co-opted the U.S. flag. I see the U.S. flag as symbol of bigotry, hatred, divisiveness and ultra right-wing politics.

I want to say to hell with that. That’s why I’m at least flying the flag with this story.

Those stars and stripes are for everyone in this country. It’s also a symbol (good and bad) to many who don’t live here. The flag doesn’t belong to one ideology.

It’s time to take back the flag so it represents all of us and not just extremism.

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