Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, May 07, 2010

A Grand Old Flag

I’ve always been fond of patriotic songs. As a girl, I could sing them by heart.

Upon hearing the news yesterday that a high school in California had punished a group of students for wearing American flag tee shirts on Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to jump up from my desk and sing “This is My Country” with them in solidarity.

Bravo to columnist Michelle Malkin for calling that high school administrator out in her column, stating that instead of lecturing the students on the potential for causing violence by wearing controversial tee shirts, maybe the students offended by the display of the American flag should have been lectured about threatening violence to those with whom you disagree.

The last time I checked, California was still part of the United States. Mexico lost the Mexican War and they’re just going to have to deal with it. The American flag, not the Mexican flag, flies over that high school. Or does it?

Did the school pull down their American flag and run up the Mexican flag to appease their Mexican students pining for the “old country”? Did they sing the Mexican National Anthem that morning instead of the Star Spangled Banner?

My great-grandparents came from Germany. Although they brought with them some of the customs of the old country, German recipes and so forth, the first custom they abandoned was speaking German in favor of the language of their adopted country.

They didn’t come here to conquer America, as the Mexican immigrants obviously intend to do. Germany wasn’t all that great; that’s why they left. Mexico isn’t all that great, either. One only has to look at their headlines to know it: Mexico City is the murder capital of the world.

Phoenix is becoming the kidnapping capital of the United States. What does that tell people about the illegal immigrants, who are here illegally, the operative word here being “illegal.”

When they’re finally here, and made citizens of this country without earning it, are they then going to abide by our laws, magically and all of a sudden? Are they going to begin speaking English? Are they going to salute the American flag?

Or are they going to run up the Mexican flag and continue in their old habits of murder, kidnapping, and stealing? Will they bankrupt and corrupt our country as they have their own, and when they’re through destroying our country, move on like locusts to Canada and parts beyond?

This holiday, it turns out, isn't even about Mexican independence (Sept. 16th is Mexican Independence Day - thank you, Rush Limbaugh, for that info!).  It's a cultural heritage holiday created by a beer company.  Ironically, the event around which this holiday revolves was the invasion of Mexico by France, and Mexico's victory in that battle.

They have no problem invading other people's countries, though.

We Americans are proud of our flag in a way no citizens of any other country are. For other citizens, their flag represents a plot of land, family and tribal connections, a favorite ethnic dish or ancient custom.

Our flag is about more than our beautiful land. Old Glory is about an idea – that people can determine their own destiny, that they can make their own laws that will protect them from royalty, military dictators, and invaders (Mexicans, take note).

Our flag represents freedom. Our flag even has its own holiday, not always universally observed, a minor holiday (like Cinco de Mayo in Mexico). But it has one. On June 14, 2001, I paraded up and down the hallways at work with an American flag in each hand to remind my co-workers of the importance of the day.

They laughed genially and encouraged me in my patriotic fervor.

After 9/11, they joined me in that fervor. Waving the American flag became the popular fashion and it hasn’t faded, as evidenced by the boys in that California high school.

Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes. Long may she wave!

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