There are people who might be surprised that I'm patriotic. I get ticked at my politicians on a regular basis, and have been a pacifist since I watched TV as a child and saw other children running from explosions in Viet Nam. There simply has to be better ways of solving the world's problems than blowing people and places up.
Don't get me wrong -- I believe in our right to self-defense, but wars with Iraq and Afghanistan make less sense than blowing up Saudi Arabia if we're actually retaliating for 9/11. But like I said, I'm a pacifist. I don't want to blow up anybody, and I don't want our soldiers blown up either. It hurts me to see young people without arms, legs, or faces because of the stupid decisions made by people in power for oil interests. Rich people get richer, and everybody involved suffers. The rest of us are supposed to buy cars and stuff to help the economy and avoid looking at that man controlling things behind the curtain.
On the other hand, my country right or wrong -- right? America isn't just the flawed people in Washington or greedy corporations or fruit loops in Waco, Texas or whatever other crackpots you might want to point to that live here. America is an ideal of freedoms. Believe in the religion of your choice, or don't believe in one at all. Every child is given a basic education and libraries are free. Anyone can go to college and study the career of their choice and abilities. In theory anyway, none of us is limited by our caste in life. The streets may not be paved in gold, but we do provide opportunities. It isn't all given to you, but you have the guaranteed right to work towards your own happiness. We have the right to say what we want and to create pictures of anything we want, even if it criticizes the government itself.
My sense of patriotism runs deep. My ancestors have fought in America's wars since the first war against the British, and I even had relatives who signed the Declaration of Independence. My relatives fought on both sides of the Civil War, in both world wars, Korea, the Gulf, etc. I feel obligated to support the people who are willing to die for our freedoms and the greater good, but that doesn't mean I have to support the politicians that send them in the line of fire in the first place. And as an American woman, I do have the right to vote. I think there are a lot of Americans who share my views, but we are the quiet majority who seldom get heard in the news.
My flag is painted in acrylics. There are 13 smaller stars representing the original colonies with a large star symbolizing the unity between the states. Or maybe the big star is for Ohio, because obviously, that's the best state. Anyone who says different is clearly deluded and/or prejudiced, or looking for a fight. Which kind of gets to the point of patriotism. It's love of home, wherever your home is. I'm just lucky that I get to call America and Ohio home.