Talking Flag Pin Heads

I have never reblogged an old post before, but in light of yesterday’s chilling immigration tirade by the Republican candidate, I am left speechless. There are no words. So I decided to repost my feelings from almost exactly one year ago today.


I have taken a lot of pictures with American flags in them this summer — though most of them have a backdrop that adds a dash of irony. It is symbolic of my ambivalence about patriotism – as a word, a concept or a feeling. But last week, I had the chance to see that flag through the eyes of 49 brand new citizens when we were lucky enough to be invited to watch a naturalization ceremony in the Federal Courthouse – and there wasn’t a hint of irony in the entire event.

The judge began by reading out the list of countries these immigrants came from. “Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cambodia, . . .” She asked the people to raise their hands when their home countries were named. “. . . China, Colombia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, . . . “ She told them…

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3 thoughts on “Talking Flag Pin Heads

  1. The way you describe it, the naturalization ceremony is so moving. Watching one should probably be required for anyone involved in the immigration debate. It no longer surprises me that the vast majority of American high school students can’t pass the 100-question U.S. Citizenship Civics test that is required for naturalization . (The immigrants have a 91% pass rate.) It seems that American high school civics classes have gone the way of the buffalo. So it’s a good thing we have an influx of new citizens who actually know this stuff.


  2. I love the judge’s comment about sharing stories, art, music, food, etc. These are all things that would bring about a vibrant, colorful, peaceful country. Unfortunately, as everything gets faster and our attention spans get shorter, we become more likely to make snap judgments about people. It is scary that the attitudes of our politicians do not reflect the values so many of us hold dear, what we believe the flag stands for. Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, 42! This topic hits me in a so many ways. I, myself, am an immigrant in my adopted country. I am currently trying to get US citizenship for my adopted daughters. I am trying to help a half dozen refugees as they start a new life. If I know anything, I know that each immigrant story is a unique one. I can’t stand statements about “simple” solutions.


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