As I stared at this photograph, trying to think of a title, Flutternation came to mind. So I Googled it to see what would appear. First, I was asked "Did you mean Glitternation?"Well, no, that would be a completely different image. There were hits for flutternation. Several concerned something called Social Butterfly TV, and which people had posted things about being furry and social and whatnot. There was also a cardiologist who specializes in atrial fibrillation and has an organization called Flutter National.
So avoid confusion, I added an "A" to make this my own, and frankly, I like it better because the flag is aflutter. As a nation, we are aflutter. As a symbol for America, I love our flag. But that is all it is: a symbol. Honor it as you see fit. Or not.
I remember hearing about young people being arrested because they used flag patches to mend their jeans. I remember Mick Jagger causing a controversy by draping himself in a flag (probably Great Britain's, but still). I remember people plastering their vehicles with American flag stickers after 9/11, as if to ward off terrorism. ("The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity," eh Yeats?)
This all seems silly. The mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote about the masks of god. The concept behind this book is that the word god, the name god, and the image of god are the final obstacles to experiencing god. Using this same reasoning, the flag essentially masks what America and freedom are all about. The flag is just a bunch of strips of cloth. The Bible is just some ink markings on some pages. A cartoon of Muhammad is just some squiggles drawn by an artist. None of these things ARE the things they represent.
This photograph exemplifies the state of the nation, blown around by whatever winds are passing through, some I agree with and some I abhor. For each of us, the answer is blowing in the wind -- at least some of the time.