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Pagan / Patriot

An Iranian pagan. Thanks to Homeyra.

The image is from the Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festial, apparently the brainchild of Ahmad Nadalian, an environmental artist who carves fish on river rocks, where they are slowly washed away by the current.

An American patriot. Thanks to Adel.

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” Displaying the flag upside down is a symbol of distress.

Here are some comments from the page where this photo is posted.

    Now, that is patriotism…
    Dissent is patriotic!
    Now this is the kind of troop I *CAN* support.
    Even though holding the flag like that means surrender, it is a very good example of what the youth of America is feeling. Fuck this war! If our troops are realizing it’s wrong…then that should be a sign. We the people have the right to “de-patronize” our flag if we want to. That isn’t un-patriotic….it’s being an American. America was founded on rebellion. We need to pull out now. NOW.
    This is the right way to fly this flag, our country is in DISTRESS!
    A flag is a material object. […] THIS I GUARANTEE TO YOU: The U.S. flag will fade into the reaches of time and be FORGOTTEN just like all other flags. How I pity you who hold onto such things. IT IS A MATERIAL OBJECT THAT IS DEAD. […] Are you really foolish enough to believe that an inanimate object is what stores our freedom? That it has RIGHTS above that of a MAN!? A man exercising his GOD GIVEN RIGHT to dissent is freedom!!!
    If you have ever sworn to defend this country with your life, then you can say whatever you want. Free speech if something we have vowed to defend with our lives so if I don’t agree with you—it’s your right.
    All you superpatriots crying about desecrating the flag, you just don’t get it. […] People are dying, freedoms are being subverted, Bush shits on the Constitution… and you’re all bent out of shape about a picture.
    The flag is a symbol. […] It is not a living thing. It cannot be desecrated, defamed, or abused. The very society that the flag represents and symbolizes permits this action and makes that action all the more powerful.
    This picture speaks well more than 1000 words… it speaks for the tears that mothers shed, the blood that drips from young soldiers, the families and lives broken in Iraq… I applaud this man for his courage, as well as the other soldiers that hold true to their ideals and morals.
    Somebody buy this loyal and patriotic serviceman a beer.


Comment from Kenza
Time: July 19, 2007, 23:22

I just received the picture form Adil too
I didn’t have time to read all the comments, thanks for picking the most eloquent

Comment from 99
Time: July 20, 2007, 01:33

Holding the flag like that does not mean surrender by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a distress signal, a dire emergency signal. It’s the only way I can look at our flag right now. A white flag means surrender.

And, don’t eat bees!

Comment from eatbees
Time: July 20, 2007, 02:17

@99 — If you want to taste the honey, you’ve got to feel the sting!

Comment from Bluebear2
Time: July 20, 2007, 09:47

I second 99’s interpretation – distress.

Bush has just signed legislation which could be used to put a halt to all dissent.

Comment from adel
Time: July 20, 2007, 18:46

viva pagans

Comment from eatbees
Time: July 21, 2007, 12:51

@Bluebear2 — Thanks for the link. By itself this law seems almost reasonable, because it only targets people who commit violent acts or who support them in some active way, but there are parts of it that are open to broad interpretation, and in the context of Bush-Cheney’s claims of near-dictatorial powers, and their complete refusal of oversight, it looks like one more incremental move toward an American police state—or to put it another way, I think we are already living in one, but the full force of the clampdown hasn’t been felt because the authorities haven’t had the need for it yet—we are “policing” ourselves!

Comment from Incognito
Time: July 24, 2007, 17:59

And yet no distress and outrage for the hundreds of innocent Muslims that are being massacred by other Muslims?

Why no outrage at that?

Comment from eatbees
Time: July 24, 2007, 18:08

All life is sacred, equally so, and massacres of anyone, by anyone are deserving of condemnation.

Comment from Boots
Time: March 18, 2011, 17:59

I disagree with what the young soldier is doing, but I would fight to the death for his right to do it!!

Our Flag has taken a beating in the time it has flown, but its core ideal is what an American such as myself holds on to: The right of all men to be free.

I too have fought for this symbol of freedom, and been overseas in furtherance of its ideals. I would like to say that a flag is just a bunch of cloth, but the ideas that flag represents will never die!!

When I see my flag, I see freedom, I see life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. I am saddened when it is defaced, because that means the ideals of freedom are defaced. I am heartbroken when the flag is burned, because that means freedom is being burned. Although in burning it, some are exercising their freedom; this is right and good.

I hope when you look at this flag you see the freedom of good men everywhere trying to establish itself. I hope that when ever you see these ideals(the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness) being challenged it is not the ideal(flag) of America that is challenging those freedoms and liberties. I hope that you too try to uphold the ideals this flag represents and crush those that would limit your freedom, your life, and your happiness.


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