Time for a new National Symbol

I wanted to find a symbol that might depict for all people the feeling of people of color in America surrounding the unjustified shootings and violence and discrimination and institutional racism which is recently being spoken against in our public arenas and in the streets. I wanted that perfect image of what the state of justice and civil rights and equality in our country are.

So at first I thought of the obvious image of the American flag used to signal distress by being flown upside down. Here is what the Law of the United States says about it.

Title 4, Chapter 1

  • 8(a)The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

Here is an example of how to effectively display the flag in distress by an active member of the military.


The statement he wrote on the upside down flag reads “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people”


Then I thought we need an image that is truly current and represents the mood of the oppressed so I looked and found the flag of protest pictured here.


A group of protesters demonstrating together against police violence and brutality on blacks marching in the streets. The flag depicting the names of those shot and killed.

As I continued my search I thought I would play with the idea of designing a NEW AMERICAN FLAG. After all Betsy Ross had her chance so I would take mine. I envisioned a flag much like ours but in black and white instead of red, white and blue. Black and White to show the huge divide between Black and White perspectives of the world in America. But my design needed something to drive home the horrendous nature of the violence we have seen between blacks and police of late. So I thought to put one RED STRIPE across my new flag to show in stark relief the image I wanted to invoke in people the current state of things. Here is my first design:

Unfortunately someone else already created it. This is a flag you can buy today from Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Thin-Red-Line-Flag-Firefighters/dp/B01A97O0KE/ref=pd_bxgy_86_img_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=476NFKNN1NGQDG6RCCN5

Here is what the listing at Amazon says The Thin Red Line is a symbol used to recognize Firefighters for their unwavering courage. Between harm’s way and innocent citizens stands a thin red line of committed firefighters and EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians.) These brave men and women, first responders, put their lives second to those that they protect.”

You may know that “The Thin Red Line” thin-red-line-movie is a film from 1998 about war focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War. Here is an excerpt:

Private Edward P. Train: [narration] This great evil, where’s it come from? How’d it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who’s doing this? Who’s killing us, robbing us of life and light, mocking us with the sight of what we might’ve known? Does our ruin benefit the earth, does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you, too? Have you passed through this night?

Wow! That is kind of spooky as to how this seemingly random dialog from a movie by the same name as this flag speaks to what is happening in the streets of America today. Maybe the designers didn’t know about this movie when naming this flag design. So I was even more confused and unsure about my design ideas but it did remind me of another Black White and Red flag design.


The flag of the German Empire during World War 1. Once again seems like knowing a little history could serve us well when trying to decide on a new American symbol. I was learning this flag designing stuff was hard.

I was undeterred however and would not give up. I wanted to continue my search but not before I came across this flag as well

You’ll never guess what this one is for…

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Thin-Blue-Line-Flag-Embroidered/dp/B00ZDA120Y/ref=pd_bxgy_86_img_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=8A96E18CTWJQ7QXPK9FQ

The Amazon listing explains it this way. The Thin Blue Line is a symbol recognizing Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) for their courage while keeping the peace. One black bar below represents the criminal element in society. One black bar above represents the innocent citizens. What stands in the middle is a thin blue line of committed Police. Display this flag to support the brave men and women that serve and protect.”

thin-blue-line-movieYou may know that “The Thin Blue Line” is a movie from 1988. Synopsis from IMDB “A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.”

Maybe the flag designers didn’t know about this. Hmm.

If these designers are so far off how can I expect to do better? I plunged forward in my search for the perfect new American flag symbol. But wait, then THIS! From Cornell University Law School:


18 U.S. Code § 700 – Desecration of the flag of the United States; penalties

(a)(1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(2) This subsection does not prohibit any conduct consisting of the disposal of a flag when it has become worn or soiled.


Wait a minute. I wanted to design a new flag but just realized that almost every picture of the flag, both present and future, I have shown hear could be breaking the law. If I continue I could be fined and jailed for a year!? Oh well I say, “WORTH IT!” Moving on.

But since so many others seem to be acting criminally with there use of the flag and flag designs I thought Hey you better be smart about this. Know the history of the symbolism of your own flag before you start. So I did some research. Ultimately there is NO OFFICIAL SYMBOLISM for our flags colors of symbols. The exception being the number of stars and each one representing a state. The history of the red white and blue are simply our new nation coopting the colors from mother England’s Union Jack. Ok so we like red, white and blue. I can work with that. So I think finally I have my design. I present to you for the first time anywhere the new symbol of American. Please rise and salute the flag of the United States of America.


Or maybe this one. Maybe more than any other design this embodies America. Sex, Female Exploitation, Skin, Women’s bodies, did I mention SEX


Wait how did that get in here? To my wife “Honey look away. This was just a momentary distraction.” To the fella’s, “Whose with me on this design. So many front thighs on Linda Carter?”


This could work… right? Kaepernick symbolizes “Colin-izaton” and the upside down flag represents our distress?


Now here is a new flag design with the flag in distress… or maybe not. Did I mention nothing says America better than SEX and the Exploitation of Women’s Bodies? But seriously fella’s am I right? Americans next official symbol? I could rock shorts like that!

It’s so hard to decide with all these great designs. I know, here is one that says America better than all the others. I heard the Trump campaign officially approved it. Hey at least it’s red, white and blue…


With that in mind we could just do this


Maybe if we all stand up and cover our heart, salute and sing while seeing Black Lives Matter people will actually start to believe it.

So did I succeed in finding the new symbol of America? Maybe. Maybe not. What I think we can all agree is there are many images which represent who America is and who we as Americans are today. Some of those images we can be proud of and some others not so much. PEACE



If you are unemployable like I am. That is to say you suffer from a fatigue which says that the longer you are out of work the harder it is for you to want to go through the want ads and tweak your resume again or customize another cover letter, so you just become jaded and talk yourself out of even applying for some jobs at all. Then you will appreciate my latest discovery. And if you have a job then good for you.

As I took a dive back into the wild west of on line job market the other day I discovered something which suddenly has taken on a new significance. Don’t you hate it when you are reading through a want ad and under compensation or pay are these three letters; DOE? Me too. But because I want to be good at my job, and today that is looking for a job, I did a little research to be sure I know what DOE really means. And that means it was time to wrap my fingers around my favorite device and google it. Wait that didn’t sound quite right. You see, THIS is why my cover letters are NOT getting me those job interviews!

So google returned three responses which were expected. First, DOE = Department of Energy. I was directed to the government page simply called energy.gov and read the banner at the top which at first didn’t make much sense “The Future of Cool” I laughed out loud (lol) and thought, “come on guys, is coming up with catchy air conditioning slogans going to bring you from engineering nerds into the summer party animals you wish you were in high school. Sorry but no.” So I moved on to the next entry


Next was not from the Federal Government but instead from our friends form the great state of New York. Here DOE = Department Of Education (For the State of New York) I was directed to their webpage schools.nyc.gov where the first item said “Wake Up To The Morning Bell” This idea may have triggered some childhood trauma in me as my stomach twisted and my heart raced as I recalled the sound of that school bell telling me I was late. LATE for class again! This is NOT how I want to wake up – with a reminder first thing in the morning that I am child again and already late before I even get started. No thank you. So I quickly moved down the page to what I knew I would get to see next


Doe = Female Deer. And my result was “images for DOE” and I spent the next few minutes reliving my Disney experience of watching Bambi. I scrolled through pages and pages of Deer photos with both Doe and Fawn. Aww they are so cute. See?


When I stopped crying after remembering that they SHOT Bambi’s mother (a DOE) I was immediately returned to the stark reality that has become my life and in many ways our culture of the moment (at least that is what I am calling it)

As I considered DOE on all those job listings (DEPENDING ON EXPERIENCE), it dawned on me that this may well be the acronym we have all been waiting for in our conversations about almost everything these days.

Some people say “It’s wrong for people to not stand for the National Anthem and salute the flag.” If they are a military family or a first responder or an extreme conservative Depending On Experience (DOE) this makes perfect sense. Some say, “Until the violence against blacks in our country and social injustice ends I can’t stand for the anthem or the flag” To them who see black people on TV in the news but only when they are being shot by the police THIS makes perfect sense, Depending On Experience (DOE).


Some might accuse “Why do black people have to make everything about race?” Well, Depending On Experience for black people everything IS about race but they didn’t make it that way did they? Ever wonder if you didn’t get that job because of the color of your skin? Wonder why you got pulled over in that white affluent neighborhood? Wonder why someone said to you “You probably voted for Barack Obama just because he’s black?” Me neither and I am white so Depending On Experience…


Others have said “I don’t have white privilege, Stop saying that I do” Many people want to deny the very idea of white privilege because Depending On Experience they can’t see it. Others would say “As long as white people keep denying their privilege white officers with badges and guns and institutional power on their side will continue killing blacks with impunity” These opinions are not invented but only make sense Depending On Experience.


You might be a racist if Depending On Experience you have ever heard yourself or your friends saying these things; “Racism ended in the 1960’s. Stop making such a big deal out of nothing.” “I’m clutching my purse or wallet when you walk past, because I think you might steal from me” “It’s not fair that you all can say the n-word, but we can’t” By the way, on the n-word issue, whites have said it for 100’s of years and frankly we’ve worn it out. You might be a racist DOE when you say “If black men don’t want to get stopped by police, why don’t they stop dressing that way?” which is like saying “If white hedge fund managers don’t want to be indicted why don’t they stop wearing $5,000 suits and driving Maserati’s?”


What this all comes down to is people are so stuck on their opinion which is based exclusively Depending On Experience (DOE). We can’t take on the opinions of others because we do not share that experience. But you know what, we are not merely animals but Homo Sapiens and as such have the ability to transcend our own experience and use empathy and even reason to see an issue from a prospective not our own. You CAN do that can’t you or should I refer to many blogs, posts, comments, videos and memes I see on social media that show me Depending On Experience how many of you are TROLLS and have no ability or desire to get along with anyone else in the world and that’s why you ARE utterly alone and maybe you should be for the sake of the rest of us.

We CAN do better than this. We WILL do better. We HAVE to be better than this in order for the great experiment that America is to work. And even apart form that for us as people to be able to say about ourselves that we are good and that we can live in peace and that we can pursue dreams, and strive for more than we are and that we can all find happiness. Depending On Experience we all have some pain and grief, but instead of taking it out on “others” isn’t it time that we own our pain and admit our mistake, grapple with it, seek forgiveness for it, try and repay for damage done and repair the broken relationships or better yet forge a new relationship where there has never been one before.

Diverse Group of People Holding a Sign - Isolated

Bottom line here is this. We may not need BLM or ALM or DOJ or even POTUS to help us sort this one out. DOE we need to realize that there are so many people who, any job interviewer will tell you, come from very different life experiences with unique perspectives, insights and understandings of the world they live in. We need to remember when someone doesn’t seem to agree with your perspective or doesn’t seem to GET IT that it’s not because you are right and they are wrong. They GET IT just fine DEPENDING ON EXPERIENCE. #DOE


When A Nation Takes A Knee

There are so many people who are jealous of Colin Kaepernick. Oh they won’t admit it but they are mad that the stupid protest ideas and internet trolling they do hasn’t garnered them 1 millionth of the attention Colin’s protest actions have. I admit that I am jealous. I wish I had thought of it and had been famous enough to have had it matter if I did it. 

Kaepernick Knee

Today even though I may be a little late to the party. I mean this happened like a week ago. That’s like 6 months in internet time. So I spent a few moments posing for pictures and writing a poem. Ya that’s right I wrote a poem! And it doesn’t mean I’m not a man and it doesn’t mean I’m struggling with my identity. It simply provides me a way to get the angry wigglies out of the dark parts of my twisted soul when they reach out from the hell in my heart to strangle my good brain from time to time. 

So I put down my Black Lives Matter protest/vigil board to stand (or kneel) with Colin in solidarity. I hope you will respect my right to do this and consider my poem. Did I mention it is SLAM poetry? I don’t know if it’s as good as the many I have seen preformed on youtube but I tried. Don’t know what SLAM poetry is? It basically a street expression presented with energy, anger, excitement, passion and flow (if your good) So if you want check out some SLAM poetry before you read on then return and read on or rap it out loud or SLAM it out in the privacy of your living room like I did for my wife even though she tried to leave the room 3 times before I was done. I am a lot to put up with after all. So I don’t blame her.

Take a knee1

A word of warning to my paler skinned readers. This is hard. Like it’s hard for me to admit I was a racist, But I have been in recovery for decades and I am making progress. You may not be there yet so I welcome your ignorant, hateful and angry comments. And thank you for them.. I am sure they will inspire many more posts, photos and poems like the content provided here. PEACE. 

The Day When A Nation Takes A Knee

Today I put down my BLM sign so I can take a knee

In the home of the brave and the land of the free

I am with Colin and he is with me

Together now one in solidarity

What this should tell you is I am a patriot

Who loves his country but unjust killing can’t forget

Now I declare with one voice among many

Not enough people will take action with me

Too hard for you to listen and understand

About what it is like to be a black man

So if you are blessed today and fat, dumb and happy

Too busy to listen to our friend Colin ‘Kappy”

The country I love is supposed to have justice

But if it’s only for the majority or Just Us.

Then it’s time for everyone to stand up and scream

This is not part of the American Dream

We need everyone to have life, liberty and happiness

If we don’t then someone is suffering and oppressed

This is my country and it’s under attack

By a white power majority out to get blacks

So you know what just screw it, I throw up my hands

Someone stand for the truth, make your demands

To our leaders and neighbors, family and friends

Or we may just find out our grand old country ends

When the music plays and you have a choice

To stand or sit know that both have a voice

So if you’re still complaining about a black man’s actions

Know that throughout history blacks can’t get no satisfactions

If today you are shouting at your TV and looking dumb

Maybe it’s time for you to “go back where you came from!”