Let’s talk about flags for a minute.
Trigger warning: You’re probably not gonna like this post. If you aren’t going to comment with civility, please go to Tumblr and complain there like everyone else.
Flags are symbols. They are both historical and current. They represent a country’s legacy or an idea.
Let’s start with the most controversial flag as of today:
I distinctly remember driving through Alabama and seeing this flag flying. I don’t have a picture of it, but I also don’t remember people being up in arms about it the way they were with South Carolina. To many people, this flag is a symbol of hate, dissent, and racism.
On the other hand, this flag has historical context, so it should be shown in museums and in historical-based games and on the Dukes of Hazzard merchandise because that flag is still a part of Southern culture.
Rebecca Frech says that the recent controversy over this flag is because the issue was brought up from people outside of South Carolina. “If they were left alone, they’d probably vote to move it elsewhere like we have. But once Yankees start pushing us ignorant southerners around, we dig in our heels and won’t budge an inch. I’m in favor of moving or removing the flag if the people of South Carolina want it moved. But I’m against Yankees coming in and telling them they should move it.”
I am a Yankee by birth. I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line and spent most of my childhood there. However, I’ve been living in Texas for almost ten years. I’ve seen the Southern pride as well as Southern hospitality. Heck, the Texas State Capitol currently flies another form of the Confederate flag to honor the Six Flags Over Texas. (Not the theme park.)
So while I understand the controversy, I feel like people have gone too far in the name of political correctness.
Speaking of politics, let’s move onto the next flag…
This flag represents an idea. And it’s been all over my news feed because of the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide. My college was ironically located in the gay district of Houston so if you drove up the block, you would see these flags all over. I’ve been seeing rainbows everywhere on my social media. It honestly feels like a Skittles factory exploded all over my laptop!
I have a good number of LGBT friends. I have friends who support gay marriage. This is for y’all:
I love you. We are still friends. I may not agree with you with where you stand on this issue. I’m still trying to understand what it means to be gay/lesbian/bi/etc and work it into my faith. I also believe that sexuality is part of who you are, but it is not the whole of who you are. We are so much more than our gender/sexuality/race/etc. This “something more” comes from our Divine creator and it reaches out beyond the tangible. I hope that y’all are open to dialogue about ways to be more compassionate towards those on the LGBT spectrum beyond government oversight.
Speaking of government…
There are days that I love my country. And there are days that I wanna get off this planet altogether. I don’t know if I can say that I am proud to be an American right now because of how people are going to extremes in the name of political correctness. Riots break out in cities over racial issues that never seem to go away. People are taking out historically significant pieces of literature in the name of “safe spaces” on college campuses. We distrust our cops when they shoot African-American young adults, but cheer when a “cop killer” gets caught in New York. In the words of one of my favorite musicals: “How do you document real life when real life’s getting more like fiction each day?” I’m distrustful of politicians in general, especially the blatant opportunists. I want to believe that there is still good in this nation. However, maybe these events and people’s reactions to them remind me that there is a line between patriotism and nationalism. I love the ideas that this nation stands for, but the message is being distorted in the name of entitlement.
Today is the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul. This flag would not exist without them. This flag is also covering my face on both my Facebook and Instagram profile pictures. Why do I choose to “pledge allegiance” to this flag as opposed to the other flags I showed here?
Because before anything else, I am a Catholic. I’ve said before that I see being Catholic as something bigger than myself. It transcends beyond my gender, my race, the kinds of people I find attractive, and even the fandoms that I obsess over. The Catholic Church is the glue that binds the pieces of me together. Like Peter, I have a horrible tendency to let my passions overrule being sensible, which ends up with me coming off like a thick-headed idiot. I have the best of intentions, but end up falling short because of the actions I choose. And yet, Jesus chose Peter to be the head of his Church, the foundation that would give way to an entire legacy of popes and bishops and priests who worked hard to make the Church what it is today.
The Church is by no means perfect. Neither am I, for that matter. But through Christ, the Church and I continue to improve and grow. Like Paul, we are filled with a zeal that drives us to go around the world proclaiming the Gospel. We have a missionary spirit that can’t be stopped. We may not say what everyone likes to hear, but at the same time, these things need to be said. Jesus chose Paul, a man who spent time persecuting and killing Christians thinking he was doing the right thing. After his conversion, Paul preached compassion, but he also preached about having integrity.
So when you see this flag over my face, know that I am not doing it to set up some kind of us against the world dichotomy. I’m doing it to show who my heart ultimately belongs to. I pledge allegiance to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.