by Christopher Peña, Guest Writer

Editorial note: We at the California Review understand that not everything worth reading is impeccably edited. There are places for raw emotional outburst. One of them is called the Internet.

So today, we’re launching our Rants category, with a piece on patriotism by Christopher Peña. This was written a year ago, when Obama’s relationship with flag pins was a hot topic; so if some of it seems dated, that’s why. But it’s still a faithful expression of the feelings of tens of millions of Americans, and our leadership ignores them at its peril.


Patriotism. That word has sure stirred up some discussion.

What is it? I don’t think I can answer that question, but I can tell you it is more than just wearing a flag lapel pin. Obama claims that he doesn’t wear it due to what it stands for, the negativity. Maybe Obama just thinks the flag is nothing more than a piece of cloth, nothing but a symbol. The liberals ask, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a flag pin.” But that’s where they are wrong. It’s not just a pin. It’s the flag. The flag is not just a piece of cloth, it’s a way of life. For some it is sacred, it’s all they have. For others it is a source of pride. While still for others, a symbol of hope.

How, liberals ask, can a flag be sacred? It is something they may never understand. The flag moves people to do glorious accomplishments. It moves men and women to fight for it, nay, they will die for it. During battle, if a company is to be overrun or captured and they have a flag, they will burn it so it will never fall into enemy hands. When a member of the military dies, their coffin is draped in the flag. Widows or mothers of dead military personnel receive the flag. That being said, for some wives and mothers, the flag is all they have left of their loved ones. At other times a flag will become hallowed with the blood of warriors who died for it, making it all the more special, as in the Somme, Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, and Baghdad.

The flag also stands in the pride we have in our country. When Olympic athletes win their gold medals they wrap themselves up in the flag. Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem after seeing our flag still standing. You can beat the shit out of our people, but show them the flag and it will rally them once more. On September 11th, after those bastards flew the planes into our towers we cried. But after seeing the picture of those firemen raising the flag above the broken and twisted ruins we could not help but feel the pride swell up in our hearts.

Hope and Change. That is what Obama preaches. Yet he is ashamed to wear the true Hope of this country on his jacket. When our founding fathers were being oppressed by the tyrannical British, they created a new and separate country in the hopes that the American people could lead more prosperous lives. During the Civil War the slaves in the South, looked to Union’s flag for salvation. While the famine was raging in Ireland the Irish turned to our flag for their hope. A single mother in Mexico looks to our flag as hope for a better life for her children. During both World War I and World War II the entire world looked to our flag for the ray of hope in destroying terrorizing regimes.

The flag is not just a piece of cloth or a symbol, but much more. The flag is the American people. So next time Obama refuses to wear a small flag lapel pin because of what it stands for, that means he stands against the millions who have died defending it, and the millions who serve it today. He stands against the pride we have in our nation. He stands against the hope of every man, woman, and child who ever dreamed of having a better life. Above all, he stands against the American people, now ask yourselves this. Why do we want this man to run our country?


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