Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Small Flags Flying

Last week I drove through the neighborhood in the slanting late-afternoon sun to see small plastic flags flying at the foot of every mailbox. They hadn't been there when I left in the morning but there they were, a full week before Flag Day.

Turns out they were a gift from our representative, but that's not what struck me about them then or now.

What I've been noticing is that, although they all started at the same place they have ended up all over. Some are hanging from the mailbox, others are attached to the lamppost or planted near the house. Mine is in the fern garden.

They have, in short, been individualized. How very American of us. It's what we do best.

I thought of this idea last week, and planned to use it to celebrate our individuality. But now, flags are flying at half mast. Now I'm once again thinking about how the push for independence and autonomy that makes us strong has also made us vulnerable.

The flags are still flying, in all their unique positions. I hope they always will.


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