Our View: Patriotism Isn’t Partisan

Waving the flag at the Fourth of July Parade in Orleans.

One needn’t look far beyond the daily headlines for reminders that the United States of America remains an imperfect union, a grand experiment in self-governance that has seen both triumphs and failures. But there are still plenty of reasons to fly the American flag with pride.

We strongly object to the notion that those who fly Old Glory automatically subscribe to a set of beliefs or ideals, support a particular party, or wear a specific color of baseball cap. Anyone with the most basic understanding of our national symbol knows that it stands for unity as a nation bound by a diversity of views. Whether or not to fly the American flag is a personal choice, guaranteed by the very freedoms the flag represents. But we cannot allow that powerful symbol to be co-opted by those of any particular political persuasion.

On the topic of symbols, we strongly reject the opinion voiced by the author of one of this week’s letters to the editor. Those who post a Black Lives Matter sign in their yard aren’t advocating violent extremism or the overthrow of the government. They are acknowledging a painful injustice in our society and support finding ways to fix it. It’s an expression of hope and resolve that we can convert one of our national experiment’s failures into a triumph.