December 22, 2006

I don't quite get the flag worship

Christmas shopping today, I saw a golf flag that was the American flag. Evidently, you can wipe your dirty clubs and balls on the flag, as long as you don't accidently burn it with your cigar?


volfan007 said...


its not necessarily flag worship, as it is respect for the symbol of our great country.

to burn the flag means that you hate our country.

some people love this country.


Streak said...


ubub said...

It is interesting how economics has swallowed even political participation. How are we instructed to support our nation after 9/11? Go shopping. The current wave of jingoism encourages us to shop for flag merchandise rather than to actually participate in the political life of our nation.

Consider, by contrast,past practice. For example, thousands gathered for the Lincoln-Douglas debates and regularly discussed the important issues of the day. Democracy was active, vibrant, messy. People organized for the right to vote, for the eight hour day, etc.

Now? We have our flag decals, car magnets, etc to demonstrate our "patriotism" and "respect." Federal law defines respect for the flag, so it is important to recognize that this is yet another case where what might seem to be plain language is actually a term of art.

As I read the law on this (which can be found at this practice would not likely be respectful of the flag because "(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way."

That said, I strongly believe that placing reverence for the flag itself above reverence for the values it symbolizes is idolotry. We must engage, discuss, and dissent when necessary. Our love
for our country, like our love for our children, does not mean that anything goes.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Wow, ubub, think I'll copy your post and save it for when I need a concise explanation of my flag view- you nailed it. Thanks-BB

Streak said...

I agree with the Bootlegger. Great summation. The point that really stuck with me is the idea of economics "swallowing" political participation. Very intriguing idea and one that I think can apply to other aspects of our life. That is kind of what I saw in the participation surrounding the Passion film, and the entire Lifeway and Bible Megastore phenomenon where people spend as a way to practice their faith.

At the very least, it suggest that as a possibility.

Tony said...


You mean I don't get stars in my crown when I shop at Lifeway?

You know, only the **best** Christians shop there.

Seriously though, this is what makes conservative Christianity almost kitsch--an act. Perhaps one day we can all get together and play Joel Osteen's boardgame based on his book "Your Best Life Now," based on his #1 NY Times best seller of the same name.

I'll bring the Chee-tos.

Streak, have you copyrighted that sigh yet or can I borrow it?

Fascinating post...another fault driven by consumer mentality.

Monk-in-Training said...

If America is a Christian Nation, why when formed where Christian crosses removed and replaced with theologically neutral stars?

If I want to "respect" our great country, I would pray for it to care for the poor so we don't end up like those people did that Amos preached to!

Lord have mercy on us all.

Streak said...

You mean I don't get stars in my crown when I shop at Lifeway?

I think they have a punch card for that.

Monk, good comments. We do a spectacularly bad job of caring for the least of these in this country.

volfan007 said...

my daughter just got back from romania on a mission trip. you havent seen poor until you go over there...especially amongst the gypsy crowd.

also, i have been to honduras on mission trips twice. we dont have poor here in the good ole usa when compared to honduras. you havent seen poor until you go there.

thank the Lord for the usa! and, its not worshipping a flag to show respect to it...and by so doing respect and admiration for the great country we live in. the home of the free and the....


Streak said...

Once again, Volfan, thanks for your careful reading. I don't know what we would do without your jingoistic response. It is always so heartening when someone comes into the blog and misses the point of my posts. You seem particularly adept at it.

Thanks again for reminding me of why that golf towel in the form of an American flag is not naked consumerism, but is a deeply felt respect for our country. And also very nice that you read Ubub's great comment and added that to your own view to form a real complex and nuanced take on things like American identity and capitalism. We can always count on you for a meaningful response.


Monk-in-Training said...

It is irrelevant that there are poor in other parts of the world. We are HERE. God expects us to be working to help the ones closest to us.

Are some of them unworthy, sure. But modeling Jesus' love for me, as an unworthy recipient of Grace, we are to love unconditionally those we come in contact with.

I never allowed my children to point at one another and say "But SHE is doing it too!" and escape responsibility, and I don't allow my self that same luxury.

If you want to respect the US of America and God at the same time, help her serve the Creator more than the business interests of conservative "Christianized" Capitalism.

volfan007 said...


its conservative christians who are doing charity work all the time. we are out there doing things to help the poor and needy all the time. and, i am talking about the poor and needy of our country.


ps. boy, i get tired of the liberals accusing conservative christians of not doing anything for the poor, and not caring for the poor, when its conservative, evangelical christians who are doing the majority of the volunteer, charity work thats done in this country.

Nicole said...

In regard to the flag and the actual post, I think ubub makes some great posts.

I would also like to add that I don't appreciate, and this is implicit in Streak's writing (at times it's explicit), but I hate how patriotism and allegiance to the USA has become synonymous with Christian faith. It's sickening really. Most churches in Tennessee have US flags on the altar, which I find to be an idolatry and having no place in Christ's church.

On another note, Volfan, (My alma mater, did you go there?) your use of conservative versus liberal is not helpful in this debate. I would say that theologically, most people who frequent this blog are quite "conservative" for lack of a better word.

I haven't heard any Chrisitans deny the orthodoxy of historical Christianity 'round these parts.

How about we avoid the overly simplistic use of liberal and conservative. There are Christians, all of whom may have radically different ideas about how to address the problems that afflict our society. It's hard to talk straight with you when your focus seems to be on who's in and who's out of the "conservative" club.