Flag-Flying Foolishness

Why do so many people feel that their own opinions and preferences should govern everyone else’s choices????

A man named Matthew posted before-and-after pictures of his house on a Facebook page devoted to home renovation, restoration, and decoration. The “after” picture showed a cute, modest one-story yellow house with a red door. It also happened to have a “Black Lives Matter” sign and a rainbow flag. (My commentary below is italicized and in parentheses. Responders’ grammatical and spelling errors are their own.)

Someone named Emily looked at the picture of Matthew’s house and responded, “Where is the American flag?”

Matthew responded, “Glad you like the house!” with a winking emoji. (Kudos to Matthew! Emily, of course, had said nothing about liking the house.) He added, “I’m sorry you’re the only angry-react on this post. I hope your day gets better.”

Irene stepped up to say, “I love the flag and the sign too. Bravo!”

Karen defended Emily: “I didn’t think it was an angry react post. I think you should have an American flag also on the other corner of your garage.”

I got into it next, asking Karen: “Why? He knows what country he lives in. Everyone who goes by the house knows what country it is in. There is no reason why every house should fly an American flag. It’s up to the owners to decide how to decorate their property.”

Then came the most scary-crazy person, Sue, responding to me: “You’re right we know what country we live in. And because of her choosen flag, everyone pretty much knows she sleeps with someone of the same sex or supports those that do.” (I have no idea why Sue thinks Matthew is a woman or why she thinks his sexual preferences are relevant here.)

As if that was not enough, Sue went on: “It wasnt a angry comment but a question. Considering that there was a time that most homes would have a American flag on display, to show their American pride, that they were grateful to be living in a America and as respect for the thousands of men that fought and died for us to be a Free Nation! Of course long before folks started Adding a POW/MIA or a Thin Blue Line or Black Lives Matter, or Gay Pride flags. And many accepted it.” (Her grammar leaves a lot to be desired, but as she shows next, so does her understanding of the principles on which this country was founded.)

“But to have any Flag flying and Not have a USA FLAG flying, does seem disrespectful IMO. Because how can any of these other flags be anywhere near as important as a USA flag? Because anyone wouldn’t have the freedom to fly any kind of flag at their homes, IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE WISE& BRAVE MEAN THAT PUT AMERICA FIRST, FOUGHT AND MANY DIED FOR US TO LIVE IN A FREE NATION WITH A CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS TO MAKE US THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!! SO IF ANYONE WANTS TO FLY ANY TYPE OF FLAG, JUST MAKE SURE ITS IN ADDITION TO THE MOST IMPORTANT 1, THAT WITHOUT IT, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!”

(Yes, the all-caps were Sue’s, not mine.)

There is a lot I would like to say in response to this diatribe. I would like to ask her by which measure the U.S. is the best country in the world: Access to education and health care? Equal rights for women and minorities? Transportation infrastructure? Income equity? I would like to ask her about the “wise& brave mean” who fought for this country, though I’m not completely sure where to start with that one. I would like to ask her if she understands the contradiction in her calling it a free nation and then mandating that Americans who fly any flag at all also fly an American flag. I would like to correct her spelling and grammar.

But doing any of those, except the last, would be seen as making a political statement. And making political statements on the particular page results in being immediately kicked out of the group. So instead of responding to her, I reported her to the administrators.

UPDATE: I am vindicated. Sue’s rant was removed by the page administrators, and she does not appear to be on the site any longer.

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