The Symbol of the Nation

Tattered Flag 10-02-2020

Ripped apart, hanging by a thread

When I went out to the car this evening, I was shocked to see that the flag in front of the house was torn almost in half. I had planned to replace it because one corner had gotten snagged on rosebush thorns and was torn. I had no idea that it rip asunder like that. I knew we had gotten a little wind, but I didn’t think it was strong enough to do that.

I’ll replace it tomorrow if there are any left in town after all the Trump rallies.

I don’t want to belabor the point, but I’m afraid that flag is a symbol of this nation: ripped almost apart, and hanging on by a thread.

My First Grade Flag Drawing

When I was kindergarten age, my morning ritual was to eat breakfast, then head out to put out my tiny American Flag. In the evening or in bad weather, I’d bring it in. One night, we had been out for a drive and got back home after sunset. I was in tears because I had violated the Flag Code.

This first grade drawing is probably why my Art 101 prof at Ohio University said, “It’s a good thing you’re a photographer.” To be honest, the work I handed in to him wasn’t much improved.

Mother’s flag a focal point for “so long” pix

Robin Hirsch, Mother – Mark 10/17/2011

Mother had a Flag she put out almost every good day, and brought it in at night. It was used for many, many family backgrounds. We had two family traditions: we always tried to take a “so long” photo (Mother never said “goodbye, so we scratched it on her casket), and when we left the house to go on a trip, we’d give two toots on the horn.

My frozen Flag

Frozen flag 02-11-2018

When I bought the house after Mother died in 2015, I moved the flag holder to the front of the house, installed dusk to dawn lights and flew an all-weather flag 24/7.

I said that in these times when groups are wrapping themselves in the Flag, I wanted to demonstrate that it was MY Flag, too.

An ice storm in 2018 made it look almost like a painting.

 

3 Replies to “The Symbol of the Nation”

  1. A poetic symbol of our country, your flag. And symbolic of hope, tears can be repaired. My hope was strengthened by David Brooks’s op-ed NY Times piece yesterday, which finished this way. “My intuition tells me, as does the polling data, that more people are paying attention [to President Trump’s aberrant behavior and effects], have recognized what’s before them and will make the right decision. Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward made the essential point: ‘There was always just enough virtue in this republic to save it; sometimes none to spare.'”

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