When I was a kid I was assigned “Flag-Duty”, which basically meant that me and a classmate were responsible for raising and lowering the flag at our elementary school. We were taught the special way to fold it and everything was fine, until one day the wind caught it when we were folding it and a corner of the flag touched the ground and my co-flag-folder lost. her. shit. Then she confessed to the principal and he got pissy and said that now we’d have to destroy it because it had “touched the ground and been soiled”…which sort of seems like an over-reaction and I was like “Yeah, but it touched AMERICAN soil, so why would that dirty it? It literally just touched AMERICA. How is that bad?” And then said he was going to have to burn the flag and I was like “You’re going to burn the flag? Is that even legal?” and he was all “It’s illegal not to, and since you were so careless now we have to buy a new flag.” But then the next day he gave us the “new” flag and it totally had the same tiny hole in the corner as the last one and it was really obvious that it was the exact same flag, so basically he just made me feel bad for grass existing while he lied about his flag-burning exploits.
I was reminded of all of this because I just saw a painting of Betsy Ross showing George Washington her flag, and she and all of her little child laborers are like “Look at this bad-ass flag we made. The only thing that would make this better is if we had glitter, except that glitter hasn’t been invented yet.”
But George Washington is just ignoring all their hard work and he’s glaring at the corner of the flag touching the floor, like “OMG, I can’t trust you bitches for anything” and his compatriots are all “Bitches never have respect for anything. And, by the way, you’re totally poking your sword into Betsy’s rug.” And then Washington would be like “WHAT? I NEVER” and then they’d explain that they meant it literally and not in some weird sexually metaphoric way. And also, why did the painter purposely paint trash on the ground of her house? And is that a turtle on a cushion using a cane to turn the pages of a book? What am I even looking at?
PS. I actually wrote this on Flag Day, but I didn’t publish it then because it seemed like it would be disrespectful. I mean, not as disrespectful as impaling other people’s rugs while criticizing the work of illegal child-laborers, but close.