Jon Sailer via Unsplash

The American Flag is the most valuable and an all-encompassing American symbol. It represents the highest principles and positive heritage of “We the People” and reminds every American, rural and non-rural  of the aspiration to create a more perfect union and nation — from many, one.

Unfortunately, the flag has been politicized and claimed by followers of former President Donald Trump. The erroneous claim of ownership occurred simply due to mainly rural Americans carrying and demonstrating the flag at rallies, marches and their daily lives. Ultimately, Trump’s mental manipulation of his followers with the participation of many elected Republicans culminated in those followers manifesting the most un-American behavior of our great democratic republic: the violent siege, in January 2021, of the Capitol.

In less than five years, Trump and his followers have tarnished and degraded the great significance of the flag. Together, they have completed an ominous mission — to divide the people. Worse yet, they have created a grand delusional idea and dangerous belief: The American Flag belongs to Trump Republicans. During this period, the non-Trump Americans mostly stood by and allowed the negative grand national delusion to take hold in the nation’s psyche.

The flag’s eminence and national meaning to all Americans is not going to happen by logical arguments in academia, in the media or on the internet.  Delusional and negative harmful ideas can only be overcome and replaced by creating truthful positive national ideas, and a new American national psyche — one where the flag belongs to all. This new national psyche can be easily created when non-Trump followers begin to use and demonstrate the flag during the Fourth of July, parades, marches, positive events and in their daily lives.

Consequently, this Fourth of July I did something I have never done before: I decorated the front of my house with extra flags and a patriotic banner. In addition, on the Fourth of July, I drove through Montclair and surrounding towns and discovered that only about 10% of the homes had an American flag hanging in front. The current delusional national psyche will never change if throughout the year only 10%, plus or minus, of non-Trump Americans demonstrate their American patriotism.

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Felix E. Cruz

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