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AMERICAN FLAG. CONFEDERATE FLAG.TRUMP FLAG. PATRIOTIC OR TRAUMATIZING?

After doing an interview with a Gentlemen named Jeffery Blatman a few weeks ago, after noticing a CONFEDERATE flag tattoo, followed by a  covered up of this tattoo, while watching my FACEBOOK stories; I realized there was much more to be discussed about what it means to wear a flag that others may RESIST or feel FEARFUL of, due to weaponization.

(see the interview here https://youtu.be/sI3jXkmn7BQ)

After having the conversation, I wondered; if this genuine sweet hearted Man had no clue how the CONFEDERATE flag could be a clear sign of danger for a large part of the population, then how many other people are unaware of this fact as well?

Does the contractor who is working on my attached duplex know that in today’s climate, (November of 2020), walking outside my door and seeing a big truck and other vehicles with stickers of guns, thin blue line etc.; is EXTREMLY intimidating to me?

How about the line of trucks with TRUMP, & AMERICAN FLAGS coming to interrupt a peaceful “death of racism” procession event? Do you think they know that they made me cringe with fear and cry? “Why do you hate me?” is often what I say quietly to myself when I see these flags. 

In 2016, I felt a sense of fear for the first time when I noticed that TRUMP appeared to possibly have a shot at being our next President. I could clearly see weeks leading up to it, that a lot of his supporters where out and proud racist. Even then, I was of the Mindset of, “if you voted for TRUMP, it’s okay as long as you are not disrespectful to me in regard to it”. Since Gorge Floyd’s MURDER, I now have a different stance on this. We will save that for another time. 

Living in Salem Oregon, I am reminded every single day how deep White Supremacy runs in our Country. Just a few weeks ago I attended an event that changed their location from the Capitol of Salem to a hidden location about an hour before time because they wanted to AVOID the TRUMP supporters. This event had not one shred of hostility. It was PEACEFUL. It was LOVE. Not minutes after leaving I see on FB LIVE, that SWAT was there to interrupt the environment, even arresting several people.

I read an article that said that the TRUMP flag has replaced the CONFEDERATE flag. Do you agree?

In the beginning of this article I mentioned the word, WEAPONIZATION; The definition of WEAPONIZATION from macmillan dictionary is: “The act of making something ready to use as a weapon.” There have been many times in my life where flags have been used to say parts of who I am as a human are BAD.

In the same way the bible is used as a weapon against the LGBTQIA+ community. These actions are a form of TRAUMA and each of us handles that in different ways.

Another interesting fact that I found, was there are a certain set of principles (flag code) that one should follow regarding the American flag, a few of them…

  1. The flag should not be flown in bad weather.
  2. It should be raised and lowered slowly.
  3. Flags can be burned if they become damaged and can no longer be flown.

It is also said that the flag should not be worn as clothing. Research shows that some would say that you CAN in fact wear them as clothing IF it is not made from an actual flag. 

Do you think most flag gear fanatics know this history? I am not sure if my generation is familiar, but I would love to know.

As we wrap up our time together, I would like to pose this question to flag reps… Now that you know how at least ONE of us feels, does this change your MINDSET about your intention and ideology behind it? Does it make you want to dig a little deeper? Does it foster love and support of one another? If it does not, what would it take to get you one step closer to that?

For those of you who watched my interview with Mr. Jeffery Blatman, can you see how you, (MYSELF INCLUDED) could blur the lines of someone who genuinely feels they are being patriotic by using all the AMERICAN flag décor forth of July, and someone who is a die hard proud Racist and TRUMP supporter?

What I learned from that interview was, just as much as I do not want someone to judge me for what my appearance, I do not want to be that person to judge another human because they got a tattoo when they were a kid, not knowing the repercussions of their actions.

With so much love and gratitude, Your Minister of Justice and Witness

Amira Stanley

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