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Maine Voices: After a six-year hiatus, our American flag is back

The morning after Election Day, my spouse and I raised our household’s large American flag for the primary time since Donald Trump’s election.

Why? Because for us, the election outcomes of the day appeared virtually wholesome once more – excessive turnout, essential points, some victories for each side. As New York Times columnist Frank Bruni put it, we might have reached the restrict of the loopy that may be tolerated.

Our household flag is really a lot too massive and too heavy for our home flagpole. So we needed to be careful for the wind. But it is the “coffin flag” that the Army gave us after my spouse’s father was buried within the Augusta War Cemetery – and that is why we like it, honor it and preserve it.

I emailed our pals a photograph of the flag on the pole and informed them what we had been doing. Most cheered. However, considered one of them, a retired journalist, stated that regardless of the pro-democracy election outcomes – and despite the fact that she too carries the flag from her father’s coffin – she does not really feel patriotic sufficient to boost it “when we are, step by step.” towards autocracy.”

I understood you. But it obtained me considering.

To me, America is a 246-year-old experiment in creating a simply society. And patriotism, if it means something in any respect, means giving this experiment your coronary heart, warts and all.

For years, my conservative neighbors have flown their flags—of their yards and on their pickup vehicles—in a present of tribal solidarity. They appear to be saying, “We are the real Americans.”

And that is okay. Everyone has the suitable to their opinion. But it is not exhausting to see that one thing is fallacious with this image.

The American flag means greater than that. America means greater than that. One of the very best issues I’ve discovered in life is that “it never goes away unless you deal with it.” The similar applies to a nation. Conservatives assume the previous is excellent. Liberals assume the longer term will probably be excellent. You are each fallacious.

Yes, America has a tremendous previous. But the reality is, there have additionally been epic disasters — the genocide of Native Americans, the theft of their homeland, the establishment of slavery, the mistreatment of girls and other people of coloration, the overthrow of overseas governments, the lingering results of all of those, virtually Lack of reparation plans, environmental degradation and extra.

These are plain details. And uncooked, suppurating wounds. Unless we as a nation lastly cope with them, they’ll by no means go away and can poison our future. Many liberals are already shifting in the suitable course, making an attempt to construct a reality-based understanding of their nation simply to search out methods to heal — after which working from there. Conservatives too deserve justice and can transfer when the second is proper for them.

On the opposite hand, America has additionally seen triumphs of epic proportions – notably the institution of an ever-evolving democracy the place individuals have lastly shed self-proclaimed autocrats and set about governing themselves freely, peacefully, and by mutual consent.

Yes, now we have a lengthy solution to go, with actual ups and downs. (We’re in a backside proper now.) But total, our uptrend is an objectively measurable truth. This is the place humanity is headed. The tide rises. And America is on the forefront of creating the world a higher place.

I’m glad my spouse and I raised our flag. we’ll do it once more It’s Veteran’s Day weekend! you are able to do it too Let’s reclaim the flag for all of us – for the true America, its lofty beliefs, and its inspiring progress towards them.

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