I saw an interesting sight the other afternoon. While driving along US-1 in an urban area of very South Florida I noticed a large white pickup truck with large tires (the type of vehicle that, with or without a gun rack, would be attributed around here as being owned and operated by rednecks, or should I say white males with plenty of Southern Pride). Waving proudly in the back was a very large American flag.
Although I’ve recently expressed my view on the display of the Confederate flag, the flag that one is most likely to see in these parts would be the flag of our nearest Latin American neighbors (you’d better check the map; around here that wouldn’t be Mexico). As it turns out, when you are as far south as you can possibly get inside the continental limits of the United States, the traditional southern white folk no longer represent the Majority. That title was seized several decades ago by Cubans displaced by a communist regime at home.
What really pissed off the locals as this power shift was taking place was that the newcomers weren’t assimilating the local culture. They weren’t bothering to learn English. They weren’t renouncing the corruption or other values of a third-world country. And maybe most important, they kept waving that damn Cuban flag. This has been going on for over fifty years now. If the local Cubans had assimilated, then they would have known that the flag they should have been waving was from a group that actually attacked and declared war on the United States to preserve their enlightened principles under the guise of “state rights”. Only after a long, devastating struggle was that group soundly defeated and erased from existence over 150 years ago.
Anyway, when I saw the American flag in the back of the pickup truck, I know it wasn’t that big a deal, but I found it refreshing. Maybe that guy finally found something he could be proud of.
Lately the only ones you normally see flying the American flag, the largest they can possibly find, are used car dealerships. And how many times have you heard on the news about the veteran who tried flying his flag, but was denied or thrown out by his condominium association. The condo association was exercising the same rights to protect their residents from offensive material that the vet had fought so hard to protect (and that some of his friends no doubt died for). But this is America, after all. It almost brought tears to my eyes.
DIn the time several centuries ago when the British Navy ruled the seas, “colours” meant “flag”.