Saturday, 13 February 2010

Flag waving

I was watching Newsnight the other night and I was frustrated with the dialogue that was presented.

They were talking about which flag to identify with, which nation to align to.

Ok perhaps I just like the idea of a red flag that anyone can have.

But something that unites all of us, that allows all of us to join if we’re willing to accept and support all the people under it…

Remember they should be anyone.

The idea of a nation is a construct.

It truly is.

Any idea of nation is largely propaganda.

It is a marking from some majority or strong minority of what we are.

It is rarely built to be all inclusive.

It is the very nature of us as opposed to them.

I don’t want homogeneity either, but culture is a mix match.

You pick a bit here a bit there and you embrace the parts that speak to you and each person embraces a slightly different selection.

If a nation really defined us so strongly we would all like the same tunes, the same comedy, the same plays… Need I go on?

Things are mixed up and provided there’s no real viciousness it’s beautiful.

Sure there’s the times it is vicious, it is them and us, it is fuck off and don’t come anywhere near my family.

But that can often be inspired by which flag are you.


What is the point of a flag?

It came out of making it clear to the troops, you bought or bullied into fighting for you who to shoot.

Not who to hug, support, nurture and feed. It’s about, which one am I meant to be beating and stamping on.

So: why a red flag?

Because it has a history of trying to support those who are being bullied, now that’s not to say that it doesn’t have as chequered a history as any other flag.

Anyone seen Land and Freedom, read Animal Farm, studied the course of the Russian or Chinese revolution?

Then you know what I mean.

Yet I still think it’s the best flag going, forget a hammer and sickle or that way of going, imagine each lot of people that decides that’s what they want picks up a red flag and keeps it plain, so the next person that picks it up will share it, not so they know not to shoot each other, but to know they’re to be trusted and given a hand, plus any extra that there is to spare.

I guess I'm suggesting remaking it.

Maybe people would be happier if it was green.

But somehow red speaks to me.

If it's about picking one identity then no wonder the boy on the feature on the British National Party (Google them if you wish, I'm not linking to them) thought multiculturialism couldn't work. I'd like to introduce him to my friends.