MATTHEWS: Fly that flag high on Independence Day

An American flag waves in this updated file photo.

It’s always amazed me that there are people out there who make decisions about flying the American flag based on who happens to be president at the time. 

I remember not long after 9/11, we were treated to one story after another about how some who didn’t support then-President George W. Bush said they didn’t want to fly the flag because they felt like people would “mistake” them for Bush supporters who were feeling especially patriotic about America in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks. 

So instead of showing love for their country despite their political disagreements with President Bush, these same critics of the president opted to stuff it in a drawer, away from the eyes of those on the left who we were previously told were tolerant and nonjudgmental of differing views. 

Several years later when Barack Obama was elected president, a fresh wave of articles hit, letting us know that those who had felt uncomfortable flying the flag under Bush were now flying it again under Obama. 

“After a divisive presidency and strident campaign in which patriotism was used as a wedge issue, supporters of President-elect Obama are hanging flags, donning Old Glory lapel pins and humming the national anthem,” the Raleigh News and Observer reported in a conveniently timed November 2008 piece which carried the headline “Winds of Patriotism Renewed.” 

The paper also quoted one Obama supporter as saying she “got in bed and started reading the Declaration of Independence for the first time in a long time” the day after the election, while another declared, “The first thing I did the morning after the election was take [the American flag] from my den and fly it proudly in front of my house.” 

The reasons people do and do not fly the American flag are their own, but I can’t imagine not flying mine simply because Joe Biden is president. 

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter who the president is nor what the pressing issue happens to be in this country at any given time; there is no reason why any person in this country who loves it should ever be ashamed to fly their flags in their yards, hang small ones in their homes, wear a flag pin or what have you regardless of whoever our president is. 

The mistake fair-weather citizens make on the hanging of the flag and other traditional displays of patriotism is that they believe the flag merely represents the president of this country.  

It does not. It represents the ideals upon which this nation was founded. 

It represents a love of country that goes way beyond whoever currently occupies the Oval Office. I proudly displayed this country’s flag during the Clinton administration years, did so under Obama and continue to do so under Biden regardless of my opposition to what he stands for. 

No president will ever make me ashamed to display my country’s flag. 

As a commenter at my old blog once wrote, “America is an idea that is bigger and better than one individual, even if it’s the president.” 

Wherever I go, whenever I see the American flag flown it gives me such a sense of pride and comfort to see the stars and stripes because I know what it means and I know how so many have fought and died to keep America safe and free. 

On Independence Day and all days before and after, don’t be ashamed to fly your American flag high, no matter on which side of the political aisle you hang your hat. I can think of no better way to celebrate the First Amendment and robust disagreements on the issues than doing that, in the greatest country on earth. 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.