“Flags are bits of coloured cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.” Arundhati Roy said in 2002.
It was the Confederate flag being brandished around the halls of the Capitol Building which is what set off this next trail of thoughts. Usually, when most see the Confederate flag, the expected reaction is to think, ‘they’re crazy!’ They look to many like people out-of-time, clinging to an imagined and supposedly lost past, where things were better for them, and people like them, so it must have been better for everyone. It’s much the same here on Plague Island: for although we do not have a Confederate flag, our own flags have been hijacked and repurposed.
Not that their original intention had any greater meaning other than to call people to rally to a cause under ideals of nationalism and patriotism. It’s just that the intentions feel more even more poisonous now.
Crucially, such objects are symbols that divide us. Humans tend to forget that we are all people; the vast majority of us are just trying to make a good life on this planet, wherever we happened to be born. If we can imagine uniting under a flag, under a nation, under an ideology, then lets imagine what we could do if we broke free from these limiting restraints and united as humans.
It’s only really then that the positive changes we need to move forward will come. Until then, we condemn ourselves to make the same mistakes.
~ L&A 7.1.21 ~