The Birth of Defiance
posted at 6:35 pm on June 14, 2010 by Doctor Zero
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.