Flags & Terms


I’ve been thinking about flags today, and I think they are not always so bad after all. This is the world we live in: one where we wave the flag of some group or cause, to show for what and with whom we stand at attention.

I am unsure if I have any right to hoist any particular flag, knowing so little about the daily experience of they to whom a flag is dedicated. But some flags are made to invite their hoisting, even in partial ignorance, in the spirit of trying to better understand the experience of another.

I have also feared at times that my waving of a flag might be a too-thin kind of ally-ship; symbols are easy to use without knowing their history. They’re easily displayed and then moved on from. Nonetheless, I like this one, because it is using all sorts of bold colour and it’s not staking claim to anything but the right of all of us to exist and to be acknowledged. I enjoy seeing this evolving pattern emerge in the places I wander these days, when I’m out and about.

I do apologize for not knowing the evolving landscape of personal pronouns – it’s not really a justification, but I am from the era of he and she and they. I understand spectrums in theory – I can get on board with the idea that we’re all on them together, somewhere, even if my language is now likely antiquated at times. It means no harm.

I hope you feel free to raise your flag, wherever you are. If you are not yet free to, then I pray that day for you comes sometime soon.

I hope you feel free to lower it too – to take the knee – or to set it at whatever level you will, on any given moment, to say something colourful and moving about who you are, and what it is that you choose to stand up for.


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