Social Question

cockswain's avatar

How do you feel when you see the US flag?

Asked by cockswain (15254points) April 26th, 2010

I’ve noticed, right or wrong, that I currently tend to assume people with US flags on their houses or cars are more conservative than liberal. I’m not certain why I make this assumption, and it’s only since roughly 2005 my thoughts have gradually trended this way. Maybe I tend to notice McCain/Palin bumper stickers also on cars with flags. Maybe it was how divisive the 2008 election was, the way the Tea Party movement acts as though our freedoms are being eroded in tandem with using the flag as a symbol of their concept of “freedom” and “patriotism.” Maybe now I think about a lot of the bad shit the US has done in the name of greed globally, and it disgusts me. What do you think?

And please don’t start some attack on me saying I’m unpatriotic or some moronic crap. I get there is a lot of good things the flag symbolizes too, so spare me the shitstorm.

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33 Answers

chels's avatar

When I see an American flag I think of our forefathers, how they fought for the country, and how men and woman today continue fight for our country. It’s all about freedom and patriotism.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah their cars are usually a Ford or chevy too lol. I appreciate my country though of course, when I see it, to be honest, I just see a flag. It has meaning, but I’m not going to cry when I see one.

Fernspider's avatar

When I see a flag on a pole outside of someone‚Äôs house I think “Oh, an American lives there.”

When I see a flag on a commercial building I think “Oh, that must be an American Embassy or military building.”

I don’t really see them in any other context. They remind me of growing up in the States and saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning before school. I always found that fascinating when I went to school in the US.

wonderingwhy's avatar

It reminds me think of community and unity… but then the idea of a faded dream is never far in following. ‘Course I have an Iron Maiden flag flying out front right now, so what do I know.

Cupcake's avatar

I have no emotional or intellectual response to seeing an American flag. I acknowledge many positive aspects to this country, but do not consider myself patriotic.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m an American so it’s a common sight. Sighting the flag reminds me of the post office.

charliecompany34's avatar

patriotic of course. i see a couple flags along I-80 in illinois between iowa and indiana that are the sizes of houses.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I remember my oldest screaming ‘Amerikanski’ Flaaaag’ (in Russian) lol

stallion44107's avatar

when i see responses about the flag and what it represents in questionaires like this i think of how many people on this planet do not have the right,or ability,to do the same.
make your comments….but be glad you can. no matter what may be wrong with this country, would you REALLY like to live in iraq,iran,the gaza strip? be one of the masses in china? russia?
think again,friend.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@stallion44107 Russia? seriously? are you posting via a wormhole that leads back to 1983?

zophu's avatar

neutral. if we’re supposed to be so moved by the symbol, they probably shouldn’t have fed us so much of it as kids in school.

stallion44107's avatar

yeah ..i said russia. how many immigrants from russia have made the u.s. their choice of making a new life? check the immigration bureau,friend.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@stallion44107 haha. i like your use of “friend”. it’s almost as if you know what it means.

The motivating factor for most is not freedom of speech, but money, and the opportunity to earn it. the ability to bow down before some image means very little to most people.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I don’t think of anything.
I’m sure people in other parts of the world have a much more politically charged opinion of that sight.

For some people it’s more of a patriotic symbol and it shows their pride in the nation if they fly it above their home. That’s cool.

kevbo's avatar

Mostly uncomfortable. I associate it with conservative, country (as in music and lifestyle) and imperialist aesthetics that I can’t claim as my own. I wish I felt better about it, and find it weird that it inspires good feelings in others. I don’t particularly care for the color combo, and I think it’s weird that there’s no real protocol or symbolism for the gold fringe adornment that is used frequently.

JLeslie's avatar

When I see a flag on someone’s house I don’t automatically assume anything about the people. I don’t assume they are Republicans, although probably more likely, because Republicans seem more obsessed with proving they are patriotic. When I see the flag flying not in a residential place, if I take a moment to pause, which is not always, I think about how I love my country. Or, I think, finally I found the post office.

cockswain's avatar

@stallion44107 I’m just asking how you feel when you see the flag. Not how you feel about people who ask how you feel about the flag.

stallion44107's avatar

i feel fine cockswain. i feel like i belong and am part of something i believe in and am part of. and it dosent matter where that flag hangs friom. house,school,hospital,govt. building or desert painted humvee. it means there are friends close by.

escapedone7's avatar

I see flags everywhere. They are outside every school, library, police station, hospital. They fly from poles outside homes and gas stations alike. The image is used on stamps and bumper stickers. I see it so much that it is just like seeing a tree. I don’t drive around thinking “there’s another tree, ah , there’s another tree. Look! Another tree!” Well, I don’t do that with flags either.

I just don’t think about them until something unusual happens. Once I went hiking and on the drive to the national forest the flags were up. I didn’t notice anything until after my long hike. Driving home I instantly noticed all were at half mast. I turned on the radio to try to figure out what had happened. It wasn’t until I got home and watched the news that I heard the astronauts on the space shuttle had died.

I did get choked up when I saw the 9–11 images of men draping the flag from the pentagon. Sometimes I think if used in a certain context, it gets my attention. However, the average flag pole doesn’t garner much attention from me. It’s too common place. If I had an emotional reaction to every one I passed I imagine I couldn’t drive through town.

iphigeneia's avatar

It depends on the context. Usually, it would be, ‘Hello, what are you doing there?’ followed by getting the Family Guy theme stuck in my head. From a non-American perspective, I associate the flag with Miley Cyrus and Madonna, Uncle Sam, guns and war, and Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union.

susanc's avatar

Me too, I’m used to it. I get a little choked up when I have occasion to see the South African flag, because its design reminds me of hopefulness.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I suppose it depends upon the circumstances. To me, the American flag stands for the ideals ( not necessarily the actuality ) of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other documents from our history. It also stands for my brothers and sisters who were killed in combat. It stands for the future of my children. But most importantly, it stands for the people and the land where we live. I see flags everywhere just as @escapedone7 does, but when it’s draped over the coffin of one of my brothers or sisters in the military, active duty or veteran, I tend to cloud up. A number of my friends were buried under that flag.

Yes, it’s “just” a symbol, but symbols can be very powerful. I suppose it really depends upon what we associate the symbol with that determines its power. I don’t salute it unless the circumstances call for a salute, such as at a military funeral, but what it represents to me most of all are my deceased brothers and sisters.

YoH's avatar

When I see my avatar, I’m reminded my handicapped son chose the avatar for me when I came to Fluther. I’m also reminded that his birthday is on Flag Day and this year he will be 40. I’m also reminded that his biological family didn’t want him and the first five years of his life, he had no birthday celebration. Then he became part of our family. So yes I feel good about seeing his favorite flag anywhere.

Fieryspoon's avatar

I feel embarrassed to be American when I see the flag. I feel a sense of lost opportunity, greed, and corruption.

stallion44107's avatar

wow…... with all you see happening in the world today,you feel EMBARRASSED to be an American. would you feel better being an iraqi insurgent who blows up his own people? how about being in a mexican drug cartel?
wait…how about being a african warlord? plenty of Opportunity ,Greed,and Corruption for you there.not to mention all the mass murder you can handle!

i agree. you SHOULD be embarrassed to be an American,and think that way. BUT because you ARE American you have the guaranteed right to do so.

Fieryspoon's avatar

Don’t be snide. If you don’t want to have a real conversation, why are you talking?

Being a drug dealer, a warlord, a terrorist, or being a US citizen aren’t the only options, stallion44107. I’m glad to hear you like your country though. It must be nice to approve of your government.

ucme's avatar

Them fuckers have won another gold medal at the olympics, im not bitter really!

majorrich's avatar

I see the symbol of my homeland. I cannot keep myself from getting misty eyed when I hear our National Anthem being played while the Flag is being raised I sometimes notice I am the only one who stops everything that I am doing and stand at attention at flag raisings at football games. I see a country I swore to defend from all enemies foreign and domestic. I fear I may have to defend her from domestic enemies someday.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Great answer, @majorrich I salute you for being able to distinguish current idiocy from original ideals! Above all, the flag symbolizes the ideals of freedom and hope. Your ability to recognize this puts you head and shoulders above some others.

cockswain's avatar

The flag should symbolize freedom and hope, and many times throughout our history it has stood for exactly that (but I doubt Native Americans felt that way), like during WW II and the American Revolution, or when we bring aid to countries in need after natural disasters or when their own gov’t inflict genocide.

But when I hear Ted fucking Nugent say he hopes our President sucks on the end of his machine gun, and a bunch of idiots wave flags, it doesn’t symbolize the good. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot more bullshit being said in conjunction with flag waving than not.

@majorrich What do you mean you’ll need to defend the flag from domestic enemies? Do you mean US citizens?

majorrich's avatar

With the freedom we have on the internet and the number of potential candidates who can be seduced into making a bad choice, There is always the possibility of sleeper cells of people that have never met face to face developing plans against our nation. Hate to sound paranoid, but that was what was on the boards when I retired. I would be hard pressed to take up arms, but if I need to defend myself or others, I am prepared, we must be prepared. Now I sound like one of those 9–11 psychos! Sorry MR

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