Green Room

The Birth of Defiance

posted at 6:35 pm on June 14, 2010 by

The American flag is 233 years old today.  The President has proclaimed the entire week to be Flag Week, which sounds like a good idea to me.  She deserves a good long birthday celebration.

The American flag is the symbol of our nation, and it is recognized around the world as a symbol of liberty.  It is also a symbol of defiance. Much of the human race perpetually teeters on the edge of a brutal abyss, thousands of years deep, its bottom thick with the blood and bone of slaves.  The twentieth century is littered with the work of educated people who provided elegant justifications for crawling back into the pit.  The century before it was full of poetry written in praise of empire.  Our forefathers stood beneath Old Glory as an act of defiance against the abyss and its servants.  Every one of you who raises that flag today is equally defiant, in the face of savage enemies.

Our national anthem was written in awe of the American flag, soaring triumphantly on the morning breeze after a night of cannon fire.  Liberty has spent many mornings walking above forts, trenches, and foxholes, clad in her tattered gown of red, white, and blue.  She is kept warm by the love of those who died for her.  She rises with them in the hours after battle, but she only climbs halfway to heaven.  The stars that welcome their souls are mirrored on her breast, while the blood and bone of their sacrifice stream behind her as she walks the long road to the last battlefield… a destination she will not reach during our lives, or those of our grandchildren.  The American Revolution is not over.  Its final victory will come in an hour when all men and women share the spirit of those who raised our colors, and swore they would never fly above an empire.

This flag was not meant to be kept within the borders of our fifty states.  It is a gift of genius and courage, presented to all mankind by patriots who refused to turn away from the divine truth of equality and inalienable rights.  The American flag carried that truth through a forest of muskets and bayonets, into all the shackled corners of the world, past the frozen forests of Europe and the graveyard islands of the Pacific, and to the grey dust of the Moon.  It passes nightly over the communist squalor of Cuba and North Korea, the butchers of Tiananmen Square, and the high priests of the Middle Eastern death cult.  Let none of them ever look upon the Moon without remembering that free men walked there first. No slave or suicide bomber will ever leave a footprint beside the one Neil Armstrong made.  No servant of darkness will ever touch the flag he planted there.

The American flag is not a symbol of conquest.  It has passed above countless captive lands, and returned home when those lands were freed.  Spoiled children love to whine about wars of conquest, fought for money and oil.  What a sad little fantasy!  The flag of the United States has never been carried by thieves.  It rises over the sites of disasters around the world, glowing on the uniform of soldiers who shoulder their rifles to carry food and medicine.  It stood watch upon the ramparts we built to save Europe from communism, after we saved them from fascism.  We have made a gift of the future to broken nations across the globe, and often receive nothing but sneering contempt in return.  We’d do it again in a heartbeat.

There is a reason the enemies of civilization are quick to burn the American flag.  Their twisted ideals cannot long survive in her shadow.  May the sick and starving people of the Earth always look upon that flag as a symbol of hope and deliverance.  May tyrants and theocrats always recoil from it in terror.  We almost tore that flag in half once, in a Civil War that left over half a million dead beneath her.  She survived that ordeal, as she has endured every other.  The children of a distant future will remember her as an eternal symbol of defiance against domination and murder.  It’s a challenge we should all be proud to issue, until the joyous day when it is repeated in each of humanity’s beautiful languages, beneath every one of our flags.

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

excellent piece Dr Z!

long may she wave!

cmsinaz on June 14, 2010 at 7:28 PM

There are those who would just love to see my flag gone along with our Republic. I just pray enough Americans will never let this happen. Our wonderful military are doing the job daily under a cic that seems to have no use for them. God, please be with them and our country. While I am at it, God be with Israel.
L

letget on June 14, 2010 at 7:51 PM

We are proudly flying 13 of Old Glory right now. She is beautiful.

publiuspen on June 14, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Right now, raising the Arizona flag, or placing an Arizona flag decal on your vehicle bumper, would be much more of a symbol of defiance to the regime.

Tav on June 14, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Or how about a What would Charles Martel do? bumper sticker.

Tav on June 14, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Here’s the anthem (all four glorious verses.)
Verse (4) is especially moving…

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

massrighty on June 14, 2010 at 9:13 PM

You’re the poetry man, Doc.

Buy Danish on June 14, 2010 at 9:55 PM

America is stained with the blood of slaves, and rank with the cologne of greedy capitalists.

/ccr6

blatantblue on June 14, 2010 at 11:32 PM

It’s always a pleasure, Doc.

Whose broad stripes and bright stars…

Weight of Glory on June 14, 2010 at 11:44 PM

Epic post. Thank you for the tears.

Ugly on June 15, 2010 at 12:39 AM

Beautiful.

hillbillyjim on June 15, 2010 at 12:44 AM

A stirring tribute.

Two points. First, if men value their liberty and support that conviction with their blood, then that is not a sacrifice. It is the attempt to keep or gain a precious value.

Second,

May the sick and starving people of the Earth always look upon that flag as a symbol of hope and deliverance.

“I hold the right of expatriation to be inherent in every man by the laws of nature, and incapable of being rightfully taken from him even by the united will of every other person in the nation. If the laws have provided no particular mode by which the right of expatriation may be exercised, the individual may do it by any effectual and unequivocal act or declaration.” –Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1806.

The founders who raised that flag in defiance, believed that men possessed natural rights to liberty. They believed in freedom of migration.

Now, if only the right would jettison this anti-immigrant nativism, we could begin to move forward, away from that abyss. The immigration laws of today are a remnant of the progressive era and are an affront to this country’s basic principles.

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2010 at 1:01 AM

John Bull forever! =)

OldEnglish on June 15, 2010 at 1:02 AM

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2010 at 1:01 AM

Expatriation does not equal immigration – legal or otherwise.

OldEnglish on June 15, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Well put.

I’m in Germany right now training with NATO. French, German, Dutch, Poles, Finns…working together militarily for the first time in human history. Please paint me a scenario in which that could ever have happened without the unique historic contribution of the the US.

[Well, maybe an invasion from outer space...but probably not even that.]

Abelard on June 15, 2010 at 1:31 AM

but but but the internationalists say its the idea of nations and flags which cause wars not end them. how can this be? Next you will be wanting us to protect our borders and export our founding documents.

some days I think it would have been better for the world if we would have planted the flag and stayed. Granting those liberated peoples citizen in our country and living under our form of govenrment as free men and women. Then I awke and see the marxist in controll of washington and say no its better that we left them to their own devices at least maybe they can withstand where we have failed.

unseen on June 15, 2010 at 1:47 AM

Well written. I’m mightily reminded of Johnny Cash’s song, “Ragged Old Flag”.

wolfva on June 15, 2010 at 2:59 AM

Expatriation does not equal immigration – legal or otherwise.

OldEnglish on June 15, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Oh yes it does!

“Our ancestors… possessed a right, which nature has given to all men, of departing from the country in which chance, not choice, has placed them, of going in quest of new habitations, and of there establishing new societies, under such laws and regulations as, to them, shall seem most likely to promote public happiness.” –Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2010 at 3:20 AM

and of there establishing new societies,

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2010 at 3:20 AM

The new society has been set up – under its own laws.

When one moves to a new location and sets up a new country, it’s called expatriation. But, when moving to another country, it’s called immigration.

For all practical purposes, those words were spoken in a world that no longer exists, since all countries have now been established.

A similar condition existed with Australia in the eighteen hundreds, for example. There was no pre-existing system of society and laws, but we now have a society, and laws, which means that anyone else who wants to come would need to be a legal immigrant into said society.

What you seem to be advocating is a complete ignoring of a society by anyone who wishes to push in.

OldEnglish on June 15, 2010 at 4:37 AM

There are those who would just love to see my flag gone along with our Republic. I just pray enough Americans will never let this happen. Our wonderful military are doing the job daily under a cic that seems to have no use for them. God, please be with them and our country. While I am at it, God be with Israel.
L

letget on June 14, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Worse are those that wish to defile our flag and make it mean slavery, oppression, and death. Just as the NAZIs did to the swastika; a symbol that used to mean ‘good fortune’.

Slowburn on June 15, 2010 at 5:42 AM

Remember

Kini on June 15, 2010 at 5:46 AM

REPEAL OBAMA CARE

Oh, by the way…..

Kini on June 15, 2010 at 5:54 AM

Thanks Doc! Your patriotism and eloquence humble me. And as I wake up this morning and see Old Glory hanging off my deck, I give thanks to the brave men and women whose bravery, blood and sacrifice have, and continue to, serve as an inspiration to all people who yearn to be free of the shackles of tyrants and dictators. God Bless You Doc.

And I leave a little rhyme here to those south of the border who wish to come to this great country:

Jose can you see
We will welcome thee
If only you would please
Follow the laws of the free

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on June 15, 2010 at 6:03 AM

What a great start to my day. Thanks, Doc.

patriots who refused to turn away from the divine truth of equality and inalienable rights

May we be such men and women.

davidk on June 15, 2010 at 6:50 AM

You are so right, but the left loathes the flag for the very same reasons -they loathe our freedom since they compulsively believe that only they can determine how we need to live correctly. They hate the fact that we haven’t subjegated the people we’ve freed under its banner – because they would – subjegate and control of the lesser people – the common man is their very soul.
Above all, they hate the fact that the flag represents unity, for it is unity that makes us strong and inpenatrable to our enemies, and so their nature is to divide us – to tear the stripes apart from each other in the same manner that they have alienated all from each other for their own devious ends -blacks from whites, women from men, rich from poor, workers from those who pay their wages, young from the old, religious from the Godless, unborn from their mother’s wombs. The list is long in their divide and conquer game. The flag is a grand symbol of what the leftin this nation and their friends ond cohorts around the world despise and fears.

Don L on June 15, 2010 at 7:59 AM

That brought tears to my ears. Literally.

Disturb the Universe on June 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM

That brought tears to my ears. Literally.

Disturb the Universe on June 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM

eyes

lol

Disturb the Universe on June 15, 2010 at 8:32 AM

The founders who raised that flag in defiance, believed that men possessed natural rights to liberty. They believed in freedom of migration.

Now, if only the right would jettison this anti-immigrant nativism, we could begin to move forward, away from that abyss. The immigration laws of today are a remnant of the progressive era and are an affront to this country’s basic principles.

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2010 at 1:01 AM

The founders also lived in a time when there was no welfare, food stamps, tax “credits,” and other forms of government-mandated wealth re-distribution that attracted millions of the world’s poor to our country. The vast majority of today’s illegal aliens don’t come here in search of “liberty;” they come for financial gain. It’s a reasonable response to poverty and I don’t fault them for it, but our nation — which is trillions of dollars in debt — can no longer pretend that we can afford our insane, de facto open borders policy.

And contrary to what you seem to believe, there is not now, and never has been, a natural “right” for any person to pick and choose which of a country’s duly-enacted laws he or she is going to obey. The millions of foreigners living illegally in the U.S. aren’t just willfully violating immigration laws — they are also willfully violating tax laws, employment laws, zoning laws, licensing laws, etc. And as you pointed out yourself, our founders recognized that we have the right to establish laws and require those who wish to join our society to obey those laws:

“Our ancestors… possessed a right, which nature has given to all men, of departing from the country in which chance, not choice, has placed them, of going in quest of new habitations, and of there establishing new societies, under such laws and regulations as, to them, shall seem most likely to promote public happiness.” –Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774

You’ll notice that Jefferson did not add: but hey, if lots of migrants moving into these new societies disagree with some of those established laws and regulations or find them too inconvenient to obey, then they can just ignore them.

AZCoyote on June 15, 2010 at 8:53 AM

AshleyTKing – You are conflating immigration with illegal immigration. I don’t think the “conservatives” want to eliminate immigration; they just want control of our own borders. Let them all come. We just want to know who them all is. We have been attacked on our continental US by some of them all for the first time in our history. All of them all came across one of our borders or another.

When them all get here illegally, they tend to clump together, break our laws, steal our services, and and promulgate the ideals of where them all came from, which are generally not the ideals of the US today. We even have a president who is so new to these shores that he doesn’t have American ideals as second nature, but wishes to impose his banana republic baggage on the rest of us. I think, that in the future, the american people must be sane enough to select at least a second or third generation citizen that has been educated and in this country and has naturally adopted our values.

Old Country Boy on June 15, 2010 at 8:56 AM

“Here’s to the Army and Navy and the battles they have won; here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run.”

rollthedice on June 15, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Dr. Zero doesn’t have a large enough audience.

No doubt about it, His words have to be spread far and wide.

Juno77 on June 15, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Ya know, I found myself hearing Ronald Reagan’s voice in my head reading that.

That’d be a helluva Flag Day speech, right there.

Midas on June 15, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Now, if only the right would jettison this anti-immigrant nativism, we could begin to move forward, away from that abyss. The immigration laws of today are a remnant of the progressive era and are an affront to this country’s basic principles.

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2010 at 1:01 AM

You don’t know what you’re talking about.
If people want to immigrate from other countries and become Americans they’re welcomed with open arms. It’s the invaders who want to occupy parts of our country, that we and our ancestors expended enormous amounts of blood and treasure to build, and “reconquer” it and set up a separate society with a different language and culture that we conservatives oppose.

single stack on June 15, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Wow, just Wow, I stand in awe of your power of prose Doc Zero, I’m speechless.

Mini-14 on June 15, 2010 at 9:37 AM

There is a reason the enemies of civilization are quick to burn the American flag. Their twisted ideals cannot long survive in her shadow.

Thank you Dr Zero for your insight. Wonderful essay. It is going to be a long week for the President but if it takes attention away from the oil spill he may wave a few

In honor of the great sacrifice and love represented by our flag, I attach one of my favorite poems. This poem lays open the good and bad which is in all men.

In the Civil War, men chose sides, but when the War finally ended, years after the surrender, men of both sides came together again, and the South is the greatest defender of the Red, White and Blue, and has since given many, many men to defend this precious land. Those who deny our borders also deny our flag.

The Ballad of Barbara Frietchie

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall;

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet,

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.

‘Halt!’ – the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
‘Fire!’ – out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

‘Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country’s flag,’ she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman’s deed and word;

‘Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on! he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie’s work is o’er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids nor more.

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewalls’ bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie’s grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round they symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!

entagor on June 15, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Can’t think of anyone better than Doc to have written such a beautiful tribute to what our flag represents.

beachgirlusa on June 15, 2010 at 10:43 AM

OldEnglish on June 15, 2010 at 4:37 AM

First, Jefferson is clearly talking about freedom of movement.

Second, there were not limits on the number of immigrants coming in until the Progressive Era. Progressives were concerned about racial hygiene. For the first half of this country’s existence, you just came. It was a matter of years before one could apply for citizenship.

AZCoyote on June 15, 2010 at 8:53 AM

By all means, let us repeal the welfare state.

AshleyTKing on June 15, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Doctor Zero! I just saw your post on the LATimes piece. Only because I’m busy trudging through all the responses to it, and you are somewhere on page 13. It’s a wonder I found it!

But at the beginning of your post, I slowed down. So as to savor every word. EVERY WORD. Only towards the end did I see who had written this fabulous post!

Listen, it’s the mark of a really great writer that has the reader slowing down to savor every word – and the mark of a fantastic writer when those words cry out to be individually savored! – even when the reader doesn’t know who the author is.

I know of few, if any, writers whose words have quite that effect – of making you realize instantly that you are in the presence of valuable and well-crafted thoughts, such that each word adds value, to be lingered on for full effect and appreciation.

And dang, ESPECIALLY when you don’t know who it is who is causing you to slow down and listen, and savor, and learn.

Not a big surprise, though, to find it was you!

As I’ve said before, it’s a pleasure to be sharing the earth with you, Doctor Zero.

Alana on June 17, 2010 at 10:56 PM