Where Have All the Flags Gone?
Originally Written March 18, 2002
Immediately following the events of 9/11, this country saw a wave of patriotism come over it the likes of which this generation has not seen in quite some time.
Old Glory could be seen everywhere, literally. In front of nearly every house, there were flags of all sizes, some even on flagpoles.
Drive anywhere for more than five minutes and you were sure to see the Red, White & Blue on car antennas, on bumpers, on windows, on basically any part of a car the owner deemed appropriate to display his or her American pride.
In my office, true American pride and patriotism had run amok and simply exploded as many of my co-workers displayed various testaments to their homeland and what they thought of the evil that perpetrated this cowardly act.
But as the saying goes, that was then and this is now.
Where have all the Flags gone?
I have about a forty-five minute ride to and from work each day and it saddens me to report that I simply do not see the same spirit I did subsequent to 9/11. There are "pockets of patriotism" — particularly in my immediate neighborhood — but for the most part, that feeling of national pride that was so prevalent right after 9/11, seems to be missing.
And I don’t know why. I truly don’t.
Truth be told, the flag in front of my house only flew at certain times of the year: Flag Day and the Fourth of July. And I have no sane reason why that was; why I didn’t have it displayed year-round, as I do now.
Why did it take the events of 9/11 to cause me to such action? Why did I not fly my country's colors round-the-clock prior to 9/11?
I honestly do not have an answer.
What I do know is this: the Stars & Stripes are on permanent display in front of my house and that does not seem to be the case with many other people.
By no means am I saying that people who had their flags on display right after 9/11 and have since taken them down, are not as patriotic as I. That is not my intent nor do I mean to imply that.
I would just like to know the rationale behind their decision.
The greatest symbol of our way of life and everything we stand for as a country from the democratic process to the freedoms we have fought to preserve, is our Flag.
We simply cannot take it out of the closet and dust it off for our use every time there is a threat to the American way, then put it back when the threat is removed or lessened.
P.S. Kudos to Mrs. Ross on a job well done.