In the wake of the murders of nine black churchgoers by a white supremacist with Confederate sympathies, multiple national retailers announced plans this week to stop selling Confederate flags and Confederate flag-branded apparel and paraphernalia. Walmart was the first to eliminate Confederate merchandise, with eBay, Amazon and even Etsy following suit. As of today, there’s scarcely a trace of the famous “rebel flag” on Walmart.com or Amazon.com. But bargain-hunting chattel slavery enthusiasts need not abandon their laptops for flea markets just yet: You can still buy Confederate flags at both of those sites—just not the one most people think of as “the Confederate Flag.”
In 2016, New Zealanders will get to vote on a new flag, one that Prime Minister John Key hopes will “better reflect our status as a modern, independent nation.” In an effort to appear egalitarian, Key has opened the artistic direction of the new flag up to the people, and the people, wow, they have not disappointed.
Howard University students raised a Pan-African flag on the campus flagpole last week, prompting the school's president to issue a statement saying, "While I openly support freedom of expression on our campus, I do not support unauthorized use of University property or official platforms to transmit these expressions of thought and ideas." Uh... huh.
Independence Day is the worst of America's joyless national celebrations, the day when everyone will predictably act like a buffoon and nobody has the decency to Opt Out. From Park Slope to Silver Lake, from Phoenix to Saint Paul, the whole nation of grudge-laden bores will wrap themselves in the old Red, White and Blue in another futile attempt to out-patriot their enemies.
Shawn Stevens is nothing but a good old 12 year-old boy. An American boy. He has a touch of autism, but he's American, and that's what matters. He's a young man who just wanted to carry a flag. An American flag. The stars and stripes. The banner of freedom. A simple desire to hold Old Glory in his very own hands. To carry that flag around, at the school, that taxpayers paid for, to let everyone know that the American dream lives. It lives in the mind of a boy. An American boy. Named Shawn Stevens.
The owner of the Taste of Philly Cheesesteak and Hoagie Shoppe in Crystal River, Florida (it's where the Crystal Ships are manufactured) has been told she has to stop flying six patriotic flags in front of her place because of a local ordinance limiting people to only three flags. Why does Crystal River hate America?
While your kids got a Nintendo Wii, this boy got flags. Yes, flags. He has the presence of mind to pronounce them with the same ceremonious vigor. Obscure flags, all correct. Just wait for "Central African Republic."