It is heartening, then, to read that when the Stanford administrator dared “imply that the American flag, as a symbol, could be intimidating, aggressive or alienating,” the frat he was advising responded by “instead choosing to replace it with an even bigger one.”
This was absolutely the right response. As Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in his too-little-appreciated valedictory speech on the Senate floor in 2017:
“America has made a greater contribution than any other nation to an international order that has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter and the greatest defender of that order. We aren’t afraid. We don’t covet other people’s land and wealth. We don’t hide behind walls. We breach them. We are a blessing to humanity.”
Washington Examiner reports: Americans give more in aid to other nations, and to impoverished populations or those beset by tragedy, than any other people. We have sacrificed the most lives on behalf of the freedom and security of others. We have served as an inspiration for virtually every nation in the world that features a republican form of government.
Yet, largely because our education system remains a shambles, especially when it comes to teaching history and civics, we have now raised at least two generations not just too ignorant to know the facts or context of American leadership in so much of what is good, but also too incurious and clueless about how to make cogent assessments of such considerations.
Now we face what the sponsor survey cited by Bedard called an “epidemic of anti-Americanism.” Half of millennials think the country is racist and sexist, and nearly two-fifths think our history is nothing to be proud of.
In light of those numbers, perhaps it is heartening, in a weird way, that only 19 percent of millennials think our flag is “a sign of intolerance and hatred.” Four-fifths, then, do not automatically agree with the benighted Stanford administrator who suggested the flag should be taken down.
Whole volumes could be written about what makes this nation a beacon of light for the world. In the absence of time to write those volumes, though, it’s not a bad idea to buy, and display, bigger American flags.