Why as an anarchist do I like the flag and the constitution…
On the surface it sounds almost as nonsensical as “libertarian Socialist” which of course is a ridiculous proposition. But I assure you this position has more to it.
Flags and symbols are interesting, I’ve always liked the idea of symbols, how a rather simple design can convey so much (I remember even searching for symbols on dial up Internet…). Even now an icon on your phone or computer is meant to send a message, like if it has a Samsung logo it is saying it takes shitty pictures 😬. Company logos as well are meant to convey a message. Good graphic design starts with studying a brand, looking at its history and purpose.
“Well great we established it as a symbol… a symbol of the USA government 🇺🇸”
I don’t actually hold that opinion, there are so many origin stories that it is hard to say this is exactly what each thing fully represented in its original interpretation. Some are obvious others are like a class in abstract art. My point however is the current view or at least in recent history. I’ve read that before the civil war it wasn’t common at all to have a flag outside your home or have the level of reverence (for lack of a better term) that grew in the 20th century. Frankly I think that was spurred on by the amount of wars we had in the 20th… raising the flag was showing your support for your team in a way. Perhaps that is where the mysticism or lore in the flag comes from, however it got there…it’s there.
The way I’ve always viewed the flag is representing what was happening at the time, we were symbolizing our departure and refusal to fall under a tyrannical rule. In one story of the colors of the flag it is said that the contrast in red and white is symbolizing the separation of us and England. At this time the colonist were not under a flag that represented America, the flags the militias were using were their own or state flags. When Washington commissioned the flag he was bringing those militias together to fight tyrants. Again… representing the militias and continental army, not the government.
I will say the religious fervor that some posses when it comes to the flag does make it difficult to hold the position that I respect the flag. But I’m not gonna let them ruin it for me. For centuries civilization as existed as a “folk culture” stories and traditions are passed down, taking pride in ancestors and our cultures. So much of today is driven by pop culture that any reverence or relation to the past is looked down on or looked at as square and ignorant. We focus on this idea that we are more progressive or “woke” and try to disregard tradition as wrong because it’s old. To reference GK Chesterton an open mind has to close on somethings. You see this especially if you are a more seasoned Anarchist or long time Libertarian, people come in and start to have this knowledge that all of a sudden makes sense and can be applied logically to so much it’s like they spike and peak (and become incredibly obnoxious) then they mature and settle into being consistent.
I like the idea of a house with a flag flying, maybe its tribal mentality or the idea of belonging on a team… but again this is natural.
All that being said I do not care (at all) for the pledge of allegiance (or its Socialist writer), I don’t believe “disgracing the flag” is really a thing after all what they are doing is using the symbol to convey a message… their reasons may be ignorant but they are using a symbol to convey a message all the same. Of course as I said above I think this is stupid and they don’t grasp the full meaning of the flag (you are rebelling against a flag representing rebellion?)
(I am no flaggot and I think Flag adult Onesies should come with man buns)
The Constitution
Just like the flag I do not worship a piece of paper. I do respect the men who wrote it and their attempt. This does not mean I support intent over results. Example socialism, there is no way socialism works even followed perfectly… it always ends in failure. The Constitution however really failed in limiting the government, in other words people were not following it. So while I hold a Lysander view of the constitution and social contract I still appreciate the founders attempt to control a government (not a people).
Now let me bring this more into Anarchism. I think Anarchism is the best model, voluntary action is always preferred. But the constitution is in many ways a place where people can find common ground, even when it’s just lip service these people can be backed into a corner trying to justify their actions.
I will happily take going back to the words of the constitution compared to what we have now. Hell I’d settle for the branches just to work like they are supposed to and not a two branches seeing what they can get a way with through the Supreme Court which was never intended to be as powerful as it is. (Funny how republicans and democrats are small government when the opposing side is in power.)
Anyway, thanks for reading and making it through my jumbled thoughts on this. My main point is you can be proud of where you came from you can respect traditions, appreciate nostalgia all while not being a statist.