Sunday.. January 13, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 124
PEACE & VIGILANCE
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
a lot of people aren't into the American Flag
for a lot of reasons. Some think
blatant patriotism is blind acceptance of
false principles--others presume there is
some shame and guilt in the threads of the
flag and punish its symbol by turning their
back on it, or demeaning it through indifference
or insolence. Some even burn it,
or wash it as though the filth of humans abusing
it could wash off on it.
To create their "state enemy" they
scourge the flag, poison it with vinegar as
the Roman soldiers did the sponges they shoved
in Jesus' mouth as he was hanging on the Cross--a
demeaned symbol of freedom, liberty and the
right to express one's love or disgust without
I'm called by many a Red-Necked Conservative
Republican from the Orange County, California.
For many years all I saw was white and black--there
were no grays in my vision.
However, I moved to New York City about two
years ago. To achieve the move required
I open my eyes, my heart and my prejudices
to review. I began to acclimate
to a different, more tolerant viewpoint of
people. I became less quick to
judge, to jury and to prosecute the offenders
of my senses.
Then September 11 changed the way the world
rotates on its axis. Diversity
became one. Differences melted
into one pot. Unity rose above
alienation, disenfranchisement, righteous
I felt the meltdown. I was one
of many who began to take a second look at
the hard line I held against people who didn't
fit my paradigm of beliefs, or my genetic
maps of worthiness.
So on Thursday, when I turned the corner in
the rain, and adjusted my scarf to serve as
a hat because I was unprepared for the sky
to leak--I came face to face with Peace &
There it was--shiny, satin, gorgeous, passionate,
shimmering in the gauzy light of a rainy day.
I huddled in the small shop doorway to adjust
the scarf over my head like a makeshift hood
when it just gleamed out at me.
It was like it said" "Hi,
Cliff. I don't have to be a scumbag
loser liberal to be a peacenik. See
here. Look at how beautiful I am.
Why, I might be more beautiful than Old Glory
Herself with no make up on."
I had to agree. I whipped out
my camera despite the rain and began to shoot
shot after shot. A silk Peace
was gracefully majestic.
Perhaps a number of years ago I might have
ranted and raved like a mad man about desecrating
the flag, and perhaps let my misguided rage
turn into violence. Also, in the window
of the store was a figure of Yoda, the messenger
of wisdom from Star Wars. I tried to
listen to his message
However, I found the flag amazing. It
incorporated both the desire to uphold the
principles of Freedom by one's willingness
to die for his or her country; and, the shouting
message that Peace was the goal rather than
blood and guts. It was a beautiful
evolution of our flag, I thought.
anti-Americans who saw our flag today saw
it as a symbol of greed and corruption, a
capitalistic vampire seeking to suck the blood
from underdeveloped nations without a blink.
The Peace Symbol would help critics take another
look at America, and Americans about to hoist
the flag over a nation of resources, to take
a second look what it was leaving behind after
it took what it wanted.
I thought through many options--all of which
were good for America--if it were to fly the
Peace Symbol flag over the White House and
Pentagon. Would it not represent
more strength than just naked Old Glory, and
garner more support of more people because
the clearly stated goal embossed on the flag
was Peace--and, everyone knows there can be
no peace without first having a war.
It would mean any war we entered into would
be a decisive one, for we would want Peace
to result from it, not turmoil or anguish
or continual suffering.
were the byproduct of all conflicts--social,
political, economic, militaristic--America
would only grow stronger, wiser, more a Parent
Of Vigilance than ever. And Terrorism
would shrink and wither and die like a desiccated
fig for lack of the fruits of fear,
intimidation and complacency which Peace would
Yes, I cast my vote that every one--red-necks
and crying liberals, conservatives and bleeding
hearts, far left and far right--- rally around
the Peace Flag Pole. I think it's
time for unity with purpose.
It's time for Semper Vigilantes--Always Vigilant
To Jan. 12--Photo Story--Brutus The Tenacious
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