astronaut standing beside american flag on the moon

As far as American flags go, I’m not a big fan of flying them outside my residence or pasting a flag sticker on my car bumper or window, or wearing a flag pin, or making a big to-do over the Fourth of July. That doesn’t mean I’m unpatriotic. Patriotism takes many forms (more about that later).

And I’m definitely not flying a flag on July 4 to celebrate Trump’s big celebration for the benefit of his narcissistic self, Republican donors, Congressional Republicans, and other bow-down-to-the-dear-leader trumpsters.

Independence Day is supposed to commemorate the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. It memorializes freedom from British rule.

The holiday is for ALL Americans, whatever their beliefs, color, heritage, income, or social status. It is a time when many people celebrate with parades, flags, fireworks, picnics, and family gatherings. All of that may be patriotic. But there’s more to patriotism than hoopla and good eats.

For many it’s sacrificing their lives for love of country—those who served in the armed forces, for example, unlike the bone-spurs-draft-dodger Trump. Or perhaps it’s the grueling task in all kinds of weather serving as sentinels guarding the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. For many others who are not militaristic, there’s alternative community service—cleaning up the environment, helping elderly citizens, working at a food bank, and so forth.

Patriotism means protecting our freedoms and rights, whether the guardians who do so are veterans, government officials, judges, or activists in the streets. Or one single person speaking out against tyranny, oppression, discrimination, and “false prophets.”

Patriotism is being true to such values as abiding by the U.S. Constitution and laws of the land, equality, independence from government subjugation, separation of church and state, voting rights—in short, being true to the Bill of Rights, especially freedom of religion, speech, and the press.

Patriotism is NOT:

  • Supporting corrupt local, state, and federal government leaders and judges;
  • Being silent in the face of lying government officials;
  • Spreading falsehoods about candidates for public office;
  • Advocating for laws that suppress voting rights;
  • Preventing people from getting to the polls;
  • Allowing the POTUS to act like a dictator and fly and HUG the American flag as if it belongs to him and him alone.

As a patriotic American, I am NOT flying Trump’s flag and god (if there is a god) help us all if trumpism continues ad infinitum.




Author: Kathlyn Gay

Author of 120 nonfiction books for young adults and adults, including encyclopedias and other reference titles

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