You can stand alone
Or with somebody else
Or stand with all of us, together
If you can believe
In something bigger than yourself
You can follow the flag forever
They say it’s just a dream
That dreamers dreamed
That it’s an empty thing that really has no meaning
They say it’s all a lie
But it’s not a lie
I’m going to follow the flag ’til I die
Into every life a little rain must fall
But it’s not gonna rain forever
You can rise above–you can rise above it all
We will follow the flag together
We will follow the flag together
Seven years ago, Yahoo Sports National Columnist Dan Wetzel wrote an excellent article on what symbols mean to people. The catalyst for that column was the presence of the Confederate Flag in NASCAR races. The premise being that symbols pack a punch.
After a decade of massive growth, NASCAR’s popularity has slowed and television ratings have slumped. To restart its progress, NASCAR must continue to attract new fans in fresh, more diverse markets, many of whom view the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism and oppression. Yet NASCAR doesn’t want to alienate its loyal base, many of whom view the waving flags in the infield as a symbol of honor, history and traditional Southern pride.
For many minorities, as well as many whites, a sporting event where Confederate flags still flap freely is an unwelcoming and negative place.
For a lot of people it is a very loaded symbol that has a history of enslavement and hostility built up into it. African-Americans find it very difficult to separate this history from the symbol itself,” . “They also see people displaying the symbol as being racist, bigoted and anti-black. As a scholar I understand that symbols have multiple meanings and don’t have the same meaning to everyone.
Red Flag by Dan Wetzel
The U.S. South was the one region where archaic values lived the longest or at the very least died last. It was not that long ago that David Duke ran for governor of Louisiana. Go through his history and tell me if you don’t need a shower after reading it. Sorry, any place takes this very candid racist seriously is just not OK in my book.
As a young boy I enjoyed Dukes of Hazzard as much as the next kid. They had the Confederate flag. For me though the one reel life example that solidifies my feelings towards that particular flag was the child rape scene from the film Time To Kill. Keifer Sutherland did an excellent portrayal of someone you really wanted to hate. Rightly or wrongly that is what I perceive of the Confederate flag.
I am sure there are people out there who will tell me I am wrong but films like Glory, Ghosts of the Mississippi, Remember the Titans, O Brother Where Art Thou, Betrayed , Glory Road helped fuel my perception of what the South was like. Technically I have been there twice but somehow I doubt Disney World and a business convention in the heart of downtown Atlanta did much for my appreciation of local culture.
Musically I recommend Neil Young’s Southern Man, Randy Newman’s New Orleans Had Won The War and Rednecks. To give the other side some exposure, the band Lynyrd Skynyrd did answer Neil Young’s Southern Man in their Anthem Sweet Home Alabama in which they state ” I hope Mr. Young can remember a Southern Man don’t need him around anyhow.” Neil Young hails from Winnipeg, about as far away from Alabama as you can get without touching water. Sweet Home Alabama was used in three films in the last twenty years: Crimson Tide, Con Air and Reese Witherspoon’s Sweet Home Alabama. None of which speaks to racial oppression.
Bobby Capco’s Facebook post caught my eye where he stresses not to don’t believe a word of Mayor Romualdez’s where he states Mar Roxas tried to do a power grab. Nowhere there does he mention that Noynoy and Mar are punishing Tacloban for not voting yellow in 2010. Nowhere in that analysis does it ever come up that Noynoy has no place for people who will not be obedient lapdogs. Tito Sotto said as much last year when he did a complete 180 on his stance on the Cybercrime Prevention Act. ‘Gusto rin ni Noynoy‘ is the famous quote. Way to have independent thought there buddy.
“There’s little room in Tupolev’s heart for anyone but Tupolev. ”
Captain Marko Ramius in the Hunt For Red October (1990)
In the song Follow The Flag there is the phrase “You can rise above it all”. That’s the point. Noynoy does not rise above it all. He never rises beyond his family let alone beyond his country. There is little room in his heart for anyone but himself. That is why will always see Noynoy sporting that yellow ribbon. One word that is hardly ever brought up with in the analysis of the moves of B.S. Aquino the III. is compromise. There is just his way and he rarely makes any consideration for people who are not like him. Well, his needs are indeed special as we have come to see during his term.
Unless you are four years old, the Philippine flag has to have some meaning to you. Flag raising ceremonies with Lupang Hinirang playing. When I was a Boy Scout, they taught us to fold the flag and that it never touch the ground. Noynoy who is supposed to be my president does away with all that and replaces the flag with a yellow ribbon. No big deal right Noynoy?? The President of the Philippines gives priority to Tony Orlando and Dawn rather than Lupang Hinerang. What kind of moron does that??
When I brought up the yellow ribbon objection to yellow relatives, the reply was that he is wearing what he believes and he does wear the Philippine flag. Do any of you see the Philippine flag? Maybe it’s tattooed on his inner right thigh. A place I doubt any of us would dare venture. There is truth to the yellow flag being what he believes in. Noynoy believes in his family’s priorities over the country’s priorities. It is symbolic in his dress and is consistent with his actions from day 1. Literally and figuratively with Noynoy there is no flag to follow. There is no ideal to follow. I will let you in on a little secret. Noynoy is not a leader, never was a leader and never will be a leader.
David St. Hubbins: We say, “Love your brother.” We don’t say it really, but…
Nigel Tufnel: We don’t literally say it.
David St. Hubbins: No, we don’t say it.
Nigel Tufnel: We don’t really, literally mean it.
David St. Hubbins: No, we don’t believe it either, but…
Nigel Tufnel: But we’re not racists.
David St. Hubbins: But that message should be clear, anyway.
Nigel Tufnel: We’re anything but racists.
Noynoy famously said “kayo ang boss ko” ( the people are my boss). Nice sound bite but he never really meant it. He does not serve you. He serves himself, he serves his family, anybody but you. Unless your first name is Bimby or Josh.
How many pictures have you seen Barrack Obama donning the Democrat logo during his terms as U.S. President? How about George W. Bush wearing a Republican pin from 2001 to 2009? I thought so. Logic dictates that party symbols are there to differentitiate during the selling process (elections) but once they are over you are serving the electorate, whether or not they voted for you. You should be unifying the country by rallying behind the flag. Noynoy though will continue to divide by forcefeeding all the Filipino with that yellow ribbon. Just like the Nazi party adopted their swastika to symbolize all of Germany.
World War II was a bad time in the history of the world. Did the Nazi party represent all of the Germany at that time? What was the meaning then and what is the meaning now? Wetzel’s article addressed the issue of symbols and the evolution of their meanings.
Moreover, while the history is clear, so too, for most, is the present. A symbol does not get to define itself; society’s oft-changing reaction to it determines that. The swastika has been used for 3,000 years in cultures as different as China, India, Japan and Europe. Its literal meaning in ancient Sanskrit comes from the words “su” meaning “good,” “asti” meaning “to be,” and the suffix “ka.” But once Adolph Hitler’s Nazi political party in Germany seized it as a symbol in the 1920s and went on to wage the Holocaust on Jews, it changed. In no way can anyone argue it still means “to be good.” Its original intent no longer matters.
It is very obvious that Noynoy by his actions is trying to jettison the Philippine flag in favor of his family’s symbol. No other group of Filipinos has ever claimed that as a symbol before the early 1980s. A leader should be the embodiment of the hopes and dreams of the collective. Well does that mean in Noynoy Aquino we have the laziness, pettiness and myopia of the Filipino people? When he is on the job, he forgets that he is on the job for YOU. He may say it but he does not really mean it. His words are not worth the spit they are spoken on, to quote Agnes DiPesto.
The difference between the Nascar and Noynoy Aquino is this. In Nascar, what is offensive is the presence of a particular flag. With Noynoy Aquino, it is the absence of a particular flag. You know the one he once swore allegiance to June 30, 2010.
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