The Flags in Our Hearts

In my Henrico County neighborhood, many residents don’t need to wait for Independence Day, the 4th of July, to display the American flag. They do so year-round. (I took the photo above more than a month ago.) They are not bigots. They are not white nationalists. They are patriots. They love their country. It’s that simple.

Yes, our country is flawed. We have not managed to repeal human nature, and rapid, disruptive technological change outpaces the ability of our institutions to keep up. We have much work to do, and we always will. But our nation has stamped out more evil and it has brought more freedom and more prosperity to the world than any other in the history of mankind. I won’t be flying the flag, because such overt displays of patriotism are not my way. But I carry my love of country in my heart every day, as most all of us do.


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17 responses to “The Flags in Our Hearts”

  1. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “It is, as I have said, sir, a small school, but there are those who love it.”

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Great show. Of course, in 1776, slavery was still legal in all the colonies, I think.

      And my flag is out, Jim.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        It’s extreme hyperbole, and is guaranteed to enflame this crowd, on this day, but I think the first records in his proposed laws as a member of the House of Burgess, writings with contemporaries, and examples such as the deleted passage, TJ on slavery is a lot like the serial killer taunting the police with sincere “Please stop me” messages.

      2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
        Dick Hall-Sizemore

        Despite its questionable historical accuracy, this is a great movie. My wife and I have a tradition of watching it every Fourth of July.

        Here is our favorite part:

        I think the movie does the greatest disservice to Richard Henry Lee and James Wilson. Lee was not the simpleton that he is pictured in the movie and James Wilson was not such a weakling. Lee went on to serve as President of Congress under the Articles of Confederation and was a U.S. Senator from Virginia after the Constitution was ratified. After serving in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration of Independence, Wilson was one of the leaders in the Constitutional Convention that drafted the constitution and was one of the six original justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          An oldie but a goodie… no songs…

        2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
          James Wyatt Whitehead

          I share your admiration for Richard Henry Lee. I gifted orator who was overshadowed by Patrick Henry. The Lee’s of Stratford Hall were the ultimate family for liberty. Richard Henry proposing and then signing the Declaration. Another signer and quiet inquisitor Francis Lightfoot Lee. William and Arthur Lee worked as secret agents and diplomats in London. All brothers for the cause of 1776.

      3. WayneS Avatar

        “… in 1776, slavery was still legal in all the colonies, I think.”

        While not exactly technically true, from a functional standpoint you are quite correct.

        Unique among the 13 original colonies, Rhode Island passed a law which made slavery illegal within its borders, in 1652. Unfortunately, the colonial government of Rhode Island allowed the law to be completely ignored and at one point over 6% of the colony’s population was in bondage. Also, slave trading became a major contributor (#1, I think) to that state’s economy.

        Rhode Island outlawed the importation of slaves in 1774, but their “gradual emancipation” law was not adopted until the mid 1780s, well after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          I would be curious and reveal my ignorance with respect to what work slaves were used for in RI and other northern states. They didn’t seem to have large plantations and such or at least that’s problem a conventional perspective, perhaps wrong.

          I see this:

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” I won’t be flying the flag, because such open displays of patriotism are not my way. But I carry my love of country in my heart every day.”

    that’s an important distinction, point, IMHO.

    I too have a deep and abiding love of my country, but I don’t need to wear my patriotism on my sleeve or emphasize it to others or passerbys’.

    I think the flag/no flag thing may be a symptom of where we are as a country and point out, there are other flags being flown also… for allegiance to other things also.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Lots of flags on 1/6.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Patriots… true patriots… abound. (snicker)

          The “flags in the hearts” of the Capitol Police are there as a result of having been impaled on them.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            like this?


            What do we make of this?

            Is this patriotism ?

            Flags mean different things to different people , no?

            Seems like when I attended school, at least for some number of years, every morning , we be up reciting the pledge of allegiance.

            Later, I noticed that the Confederate flag was often also flown when the American flags was flown, and at that time in my younger years, I thought that was patriotic also. How about you?


    2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      I always fly my flag on the 4th and Memorial Day at a minimum. It is something my father did and I like doing it. I am not making any kind of statement nor was my father. My dad always took it down at night. I tend to leave it up all weekend. It serves as a reminder for me as to why these days are special. The flag I fly was given to me when my father died (he served in Europe-Italy). I will be very sad to retire it some day. Until then it flies on these occasions. People fly the flag for different reasons. It doesn’t need to be a political thing and I refuse to let it become one at my house.

  3. William O'Keefe Avatar
    William O’Keefe

    Well said Jim. I hope that all your readers share that view and have a willingness to express it by showing the flag. Now if we could find a way to reduce polarization and increase the search for common ground, we would make faster progress toward that more perfect union.

    1. tmtfairfax Avatar

      Owners of MSM outlets could shutter them for a year.

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