Cold, Dead Hands

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Every Fourth of July I stick a flag on a pole and insert it into the back of my convertible. I commonly remove it on the 5th and this year it sat in the back of the car until this morning, when I picked it up to put it away. That’s when my neighbor called out something about showing it proudly.

He said that he had been in Denver for the Fourth and asked his son there why he didn’t display a flag on his house that day. His son said that waving a flag in that part of the country meant just one thing: supporting the far-right wingnut agenda, which he did not want to do. Hence, no flag.

Perhaps he isn’t alone in refusing to display a flag. Many of us are ashamed now about things being done in our name: things like kidnapping children and abandoning habeas corpus; things like slapping our friends in the face while embracing tyrannical world leaders; things like pardoning public lands arsonists in order to suck up to “the base.”

The problem with abandoning the red, white and blue because of the extreme wrongdoing of some is to abandon our country and cede it to the crazies.

And yes, I mean crazies. I DO NOT mean those who have other notions about how to achieve what nearly all of us believe in. This is about refusing to give our country to those who would wipe their dirty boots on those things we hold dear as Americans. So, here’s what I have for the crazies.

Perhaps you remember Charleton Heston’s defiance at an NRA convention 18 years ago. He declared that they (apparently government – he specifically named Al Gore) could have his gun when they could pry it from his cold, dead hands. While there isn’t much that I had in common with Heston, I’ll borrow his phrasing:

You can have my flag when you can pry it from my cold, dead hands. And you better know that even then you’ll have to get past my kids.

I will not allow you to take the flag, ruin my country and claim it exclusively yours. My flag is on display at the front of my house every day. Deal with it.

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Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Cold, Dead Hands
  1. Joni Lindgren Reply

    In the Fox Valley area (Geneva, St. Charles, Batavia, Elgin, Aurora)…..if you put big flags on the back of your pick-up truck, it means you are a radical Republican.If you display a LOT of those little hand-held flags all along your front sidewalk, means you are a Republican. DISPLAYING THE FLAG ON THE HOOK NEXT TO THE GARAGE DOOR, MEANS YOU ARE HONORING OUR COUNTRY AND MEANS NOTHING MORE.

    Len is a veteran and he displays our flag in a hook next to the garage door. The guy across the street even had a professionally built flag pole erected with a light to light it up at dark and he is a union guy and veteran. But no tons of the little flags on the front lawn and no BIG flags waving from the back of pick-ups.

  2. John Calia Reply