Happy July 4

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Instead of launching into First Friday, I thought I’d pause for our national holiday.

This flag, by Philadelphia mural painter Meg Saligman (it has everyone’s name but hers on it!), went up shortly after 9/11 when patriotism was the universal antidote to the depression of having been hit. It was glorious.

But then the jingoism of the Bushies’ rhetoric began to cloy with its phony war-on-terror footing, its blatant insincerity and its insistence on out-patrioting everyone else. The news media were equally full of America-is-tops fervor. By time the Patriot Act passed and the war on Iraq came and the silly Homeland Security color chart caromed up and down from yellow to orange and back again, patriotism seemed an embarrassment. (See Roberta’s post on Rittenhouse Review)for putting the silly color chart in perspective.)

Saligman’s flag became something I just didn’t want to look at anymore.

But today, I have some optimism about getting Bush out of the White House.

Gil Kirlin from Gallery Joe said on First Friday that he’d gone to one of those teas or get-together fundraisers at someone’s house and Kerry at the end gave a talk via speaker phone. Gil said Kerry was great and seemed to be speaking directly to him.

If Kerry can make himself look good to a wider audience and if Bush keeps looking increasingly unacceptable to middle America, thanks to his own incompetence and Michael Moore’s film, there’s hope.

So here’s the American flag mural. And here’s a row of American flags on the 300 block of Wolf Street in South Philadelphia, taken from 4th and Wolf.

Wave on and let’s get our young men home again.

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