Professor Suffers ‘Anxiety’ From Viewing American Flag

Flag Day for 2023 has come and gone, but it was hardly a day of celebration for at least two Americans who confessed to “anxiety” over seeing the Stars and Stripes.

Marquette University philosophy professor Grant Silva was interviewed on Flag Day by Milwaukee NPR host Teran Powell. The pair discussed the meaning of the day commemorating the U.S. flag that has flown over the country for well over two centuries.

Both the host and interviewee expressed reservations about honoring the flag. Each noted their perception of the symbol as representing nationalism, which they obviously perceived as harmful.

Silva went further, declaring that the flag may mean “exclusion” for non-White Americans.

The professor recognized what he believed to be “the growth in extremism post-Trump presidency and those extremists using the American flag against people of color to say they’re the real Americans.”

Silva even recounted traveling to a wedding in Illinois and stopping in a small town to get gas. The street was lined with American flags, and he and his friend both said, “We need to hurry up and leave.”

The Marquette faculty member explained that he gets “a little bit anxious around the excessive imagery of the flag.” Silva worried that patriotism is a slippery slope into nationalism.

He continued, asserting that though he would like to see the U.S. flag hoisted in a proud way, there are varied meanings for “a non-White person…It can mean a sense of inclusion or exclusion. A sense of belonging or the ascription of perpetual foreigner, perpetual outsider.”

These are at best misguided statements about the symbol of the nation’s freedom.

The U.S. has experienced, just as any nation has, times in which it did not live up to its lofty ideals. All, even the most well-meaning, have fallen short of the glorious principles that most were founded on.

However, there is no reason to ascribe these failures at achieving perfection to the flag. While no honest American believes the country was or is without flaws, they should recognize the powerful ability to move past mistakes and achieve a more perfect Union.

There is nothing to be gained by this professor or anyone else living in the past and glorifying less noble parts of U.S. history. Remember them? Of course, since history is a lesson for all.

But acknowledge the remarkable progress achieved by a proud nation and honor the sacrifices of those who brought us to this point. That is the purpose of Flag Day, and it should be a unifying celebration for every American.