A strange affliction is sweeping the nation. It seems to manifest itself in a peculiar compulsion to display the colors red, white and blue around July 4th. Nearly everywhere you go, you see people wearing these colors prominently. There are lapel pins, scarves, ribbons and neckties that look like the flag. The American flag has become a smash fashion accessory that is being worn everywhere.
If this isn’t enough by itself, other strange phenomena seem to be taking place as well. Signs in front of businesses spell out bizarre messages, such as “United We Stand… Kids Eat Free.” I even saw a billboard with a picture of the Statue of Liberty.
There are unusual newspaper ads with pictures of the American flag. Indeed, there are American flags displayed everywhere you look: on flagpoles, in the windows of businesses, on homes, thumb tacked on office cubicles, on car antennas – even on fire engines which go screaming down the street with sirens blasting and the American flag flying in the wind.
Yes, Americans are afflicted with a severe case of what is commonly called “patriotism,” i.e. love of country. Though the people of the U.S. may fight and argue among themselves, they draw together on patriotic holidays to rally around the flag pole and support each other with visible symbols of their loyalty to their country. Some even proudly display Old Glory alongside the flag of their favorite football team.
I’m telling ya, it’s positively unbelievable! The other day I saw a Confederate Flag flying at half-mast. The National Anthem is playing on the radio every time you turn around, even if the ballgame is canceled! I almost had to stand up and salute in the doctor’s waiting room yesterday as strains of the Star Spangled Banner drifted in from the lobby!
Patriotic songs are suddenly big hits and celebrities and artists rush to the microphone to get in on the act. Patriotism, which almost went out of style for a while, became the rage after 911.
Red, white, and blue without a doubt is the fashion scheme of choice for Independence Day. It has never been easier to be in style. If you don’t have a T-shirt with a flag on front, you can buy one at any drug store or supermarket these days. You can’t even drive to the grocery store without seeing “God Bless America” on a church or gas station message board.
It is kind of nice to see people so enthusiastic. It’s sort of fun to see so many flags flying in the breeze and so much red, white and blue on display. Maybe I should go down to the local Walmart and see if I can get a flag. Maybe I should get two – one for my car also – while I’m there?
I feel a little flushed. Maybe if I hum a few verses of “America the Beautiful” it will help. This patriotism thing is really be contagious!