The American Flag Is Flying in My Liberal, Elitist Neighborhood Today. Here’s Why.

Stars and Stripes. A man hangs the American flag on the front of his house. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Jon hangs the American flag on the front of our house in honor of the Fourth of July. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Jon said as he hoisted our American flag into the bracket on the front of our garage. “Won’t people think we’re right wingers or something?”

“The right wingers don’t own the flag,” I said. “It’s my flag too.”

And so there it flutters today, red, white and blue, in honor of Independence Day. Right there on the front of our house for our mostly progressive, liberal, left-winging elitist neighbors to see as they drive by. Maybe they’ll roll their eyes at our flag, or scratch their heads. But I think most will enjoy it like mad and wonder why they don’t have an American flag of their own to fly on the Fourth of July.

Jon Newhall and the American flag. The Stars and Stripes fly over a house in liberal San Francisco Bay. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Success. The American flag will fly in our neighborhood this year. Photo by Barbara Newhall

I’m too short to reach the flag bracket that’s been mounted on the front of our house since the kids were little and I went out and bought a flag in hopes of passing on to them some of my good, old-fashioned Midwestern love of country. So I have to rely on my skeptical, Berkeley-bred husband to do the job. He balks a little each time I ask him to do it. I get where he’s coming from: flying the American flag from your house is so darned . . . corny.

But I’m good with corn. I agree with journalist Tim Marshall. A country’s history, geography, people, and values can be summed up and symbolized in a flag. “It is invested with meaning, even if the meaning is different for different people.”

I don’t know what the Stars and Stripes mean to those much-maligned right-wingers. But as for me, left-leaning moderate that I am, my flag says loud and clear, we’ve got something good here, let’s celebrate.

The flag hung, Jon and I drove off to drink some beers and watch some fireworks with a bunch of — left wingers.

If this story resonanted with you, you might like “An American POW’s Story.”  Also, “I Decided to Stop Badmouthing Trump. But Will I?”

American flag flies and fireworks explode on July 3, 2017, in preparation for the Fourth of July. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Fireworks over the foggy, left-wing elitist San Francisco Bay. Photo by Barbara Newhall.






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