Flag Decal

So I’ve added this flag to my sidebar.

you may gasp.

of all people, Rowan?? 
With a flag on your site.
I’ve totally lost my faith in post-suburban mini-rebels.”

But I have a reason. And I
it’s pretty good.

Last month when I watched in horror as our
federal government failed in so many ways, there was another story going
on. It may not have been in the big top,
but it was real none the less…perhaps more so than the insipid garbage to be
found on the “news” stations.

What slowly came to light was a story of
humanity…a story of people helping people. I personally know of friends & family members who’ve reported
helping out at food stations. I saw
tears of sadness and joy shared
between people who I honestly couldn’t have previously seen any
commonality. And now, it is hard to
watch a television show, listen to the radio or log onto a webpage without
being inundated with ways to help victims of Katrina.

I learned that this country, vastly populated with
people that I have generally always viewed as basically self centered and
superficial, was in fact filled to the brim with caring and kind hearted human
beings…good natured folks with whom I am happy to share an identity. This doesn’t mean that I am going to go out
and vote Republican (or even Democrat for that matter) at the next
election. But I am proud. Not of our government (I still think it’s
just an old boys club), but of you, and you, and you, and all the rest of us
who have turned out in great numbers to help one another.

This flag display represents my faith that
this will not become a back burner issue…that we will all continue to
remember that, as the wealthiest country in the world; we can and will continue
to take care of each other.


(Now, before anyone notices that I have
only spread kudos to citizens of the US
please let me state that I have indeed noticed how forthcoming other countries
have been in their assistance. I simply don’t have enough sidebar space for all of you. Thank you though…everyone.)

And now lest anyone think I’ve completely lost my mind, let me share with you the lyrics to my favorite John Prine song:

Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore
© John


While digesting Reader’s Digest
In the back of a dirty book store,
A plastic flag, with gum on the back,
Fell out on the floor.
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside
Slapped it on my window shield,
And if I could see old Betsy Ross
I’d tell her how good I feel.


But your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.
They’re already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don’t like killin’
No matter what the reason’s for,
And your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any


Well, I went to the bank this morning
And the cashier he said to me,
"If you join the Christmas club
We’ll give you ten of them flags for free."
Well, I didn’t mess around a bit
I took him up on what he said.
And I stuck them stickers all over my car
And one on my wife’s forehead.


Repeat Chorus:


Well, I got my window shield so filled
With flags I couldn’t see.
So, I ran the car upside a curb
And right into a tree.
By the time they got a doctor down
I was already dead.
And I’ll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said…


"But your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.
We’re already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don’t like killin’
No matter what the reason’s for,
And your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more."





4 thoughts on “Flag Decal

  1. Like Anne Frank said,’I still believe that underneath it all people are basically good.’ I can’t stand all the posturing and hypocrisy. It seems that it’s always the person with the back of their car covered with ribbons and a WWJD bumper sticker that cut you off and flip you the bird. You probably don’t have any conservative republican friends (but wait, you married into a whole passel of ’em). I get nearly daily drivel from them in the form of email relating some dubious anecdote that will reinforce their belief that good people live in states that voted republican (Texas) and ungrateful freeloaders live in those that voted democrat (Louisiana). After watching Ann Coulter on Bill Maher the other night I decided that conservatives and liberals are different species.

  2. rodney roe:
    I have to agree with the Anne Frank quote. But sometimes it takes a whole lot of looking to find that good. What I was trying to express with this post, is that I’ve seen a lot of good lately…and from some unexpected places.
    For instance: Within that highly republican, Christian missionary family of Chris’ came one of the stories of which I spoke. One of his family branches recently moved to Texas – of all places. When the evacuees began flooding in, his aunt’s boss organized them to make and deliver hundreds of sandwich lunches every day. And I know that this went on for quite some time. I suspect they’ve still got their hands fairly deep in the Dallas relief scene. So you just never know where you’re going to find altruistic behavior.

    I was just talking with my friend, Gem about dichotomy yesterday, and how both extremes needed one another to be whole. I don’t know how we got onto that topic…it seems to be a recurring theme in my life.

    That said, I watched that Bill Maher show ,too. I swear I could almost see the puppet master’s hand up her shirt.

    I would love to see him perform live. He has a knack for making everything entertaining enough that you’re halfway through the song before you realize how meaningful a message it might be imparting.

    My poor family gets subjected to his music all the time. It gets kind of hard to hear over the thirteen year old’s groans of exasperation.

  3. One of my favorite John Prine songs was his Ode to Grandpa.

    “Grandpa was a carpenter
    he built houses stores and banks
    chain smoked Camel cigarettes
    and hammered nails in planks
    he was level on the level
    and shaved even every door
    and voted for Eisenhower
    cause Lincoln won the war.”

    That song reminded me of my Mother’s father. A lot of good, a little not so good. I remember being about 3 or 4 years old riding on the seat of his John Deere absolutely awestruck by the fact that he could drive a tractor with one hand and with the other get a cigarette paper out of his pocket, pull a pouch of Bull Durham out, load the cigarette paper, lick the paper, roll the cigarette, fish a kitchen match out of his other shirt pocket, light the cigarette, and never get out of the row he was plowing. I thought when I grow up I want to be able to do that! His side business was making cabinets and he did beautiful work so the ‘chain smoked Camel cigarettes’ and ‘hammered nails in planks’ lines really were nostalgic for me.

    I have never doubted the sincerity of Chris’s family. One of the problems with putting people in pigeon-holes is that they rarely fit. Conservative Christian is just too stereotypical and loaded with emotion. Some of the folks who fit in that mold do good only for their own, others actually understood the teachings of Jesus and believe that we are all children of God.

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