14 June 2017

I looked out the window and noticed a little American flag stabbed into my yard. Then I walked outside and saw that all the yards in front of all the houses on the street had little flags waving above the grass. The flags, according to a tag, were underwritten by a local real-estate agency and the Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW. I marched into the house, yanked out the phone book, found the real-estate office in the yellow pages, and phoned them up immediately, demanding that they come and take their f***ing flag off my lawn, screaming into the phone, "The whole point of that goddamn flag is that people don't stick flags in my yard without asking me!" I felt like Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but with profanity. A few minutes later, an elderly gentleman in a VFW cap, who probably lost his best friend liberating France or something, pulled up in a big car, grabbed the flag, and rolled his eyes as I stared at him through the window. Then I felt dramatic and dumb. Still, sometimes I think the true American flag has always been the one with the snake hissing "Don't Tread on Me." (excerpt) —Sarah Vowell's essay from "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" as excerpted in the The Stranger: bit.ly/PCP_Stranger

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