American Symbols

Different kinds of creed can get different reactions and trigger different emotions in American people. Prompt: How do words, symbols, or rituals express the American creed?

By Gabrielle M. from Union Public Library in New Jersey

The first thing that came to mind when I read the prompt was the first time I saw a confederate flag. My family was on a trip to South Carolina to visit my grandmother. I am pretty sure we were somewhere in a rural part of Maryland. We were in a local area with a lot of small shops and stores, and narrow roads. I remember most of all how scared I was. I had taken the trip many times before and I had never seen one before so, I was very caught off guard.  I put my head down and tried to be as still as possible until we got back on the high way. To some else who I have never met, that flag is a symbol of pride in where you come from, in their heritage. They put that on the bumpers of their cars, and carry little flags on the top of their cars. They fly it outside in their houses.  I see that flag and I am scared for my life because I see that person as someone who thinks of me as less than human and are proud of it. They are so proud that they want everyone to know it. I think of my ancestors who were abused and raped for their whole lives. My grandparents and great-grand parents as so on who were treated like second class citizens. It's an interesting dynamic that is woven into American history and will continue to be part of our future. 

The American flag itself can bring out whole mess of conflicting views in one person alone. A Native American person who might took at the flag and feel outrage at how their ancestors where mistreated. An African American person, such as myself ,might feel the same. As such they could refuse to stand up to say the Pledge of Allegiance. This might offend a white American who sees the flag and the Pledge as a way of giving respect to Veterans and a source of pride in their own heritage and history of fighting for freedom. Immigrants of a kinds might see the flag as a symbol of hope for the future, a better life and opportunity. It's a symbol of their American Dream.  There are so many things that one important symbol of America can make American People feel. 

More responses about "african americans", "discrimination", and "fear"

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