It must be an allergy. Yet for whatever reason I have difficulty seeing national flags on cars, tee-shirts, hats, lapel pins, running shoes, even flagpoles. This goes for the Red-White-and-Blue, our Grand Old Flag. While helping to unite smaller entities, states or provinces, nationalism often does so at the expense of the larger whole. People wrap themselves in their country’s flags before going off and killing, or being killed by, other people wrapped in their country’s flags.
Children get bombed and women raped with the justification that they live under the wrong flag, that of the enemy. Similarly, every nation seems to believe that God is on their side, whether my ancestors, the followers of Moses, as they conquered and despoiled the ancient land and peoples of Palestine, or the Kaiser’s minions in World War I, with their motto “Gott mit Uns!” [“God with us!"].
When indeed will we ever learn? As if a Creator God would want one of His/Her children killing another in the name of Divinity. Isn’t that the point of the Genesis story of Cain and Abel? Okay, so there are a few flags I don’t mind seeing, in part because I see them so rarely: The Earth flag, the Rainbow Coalition Flag, the U.N. Flag. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Galactic Flag, a God’s Eye Flag, or even a Big-Bang Flag. Let’s band together under symbols that are as inclusive as possible, celebrating Reality from the perspective of the Almighty rather than the Almighty Ego. Patriotism, Dr. Johnson rightly observed a quarter of a millennium ago, is the last refuge of the scoundrel. The Universe deserves better of us than our being all-too-human. Isn’t it time we strive to become truly and fully human—the sort of people who know that all God’s chillen got wings—that God don’t make no junk—and then start acting accordingly?