I wish I could find the piece done some years back by Andy Rooney of all people, who explained well why he didn't wear a flag pin. Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation addressed the topic more recently here.
But it's more personal than that. Very few people were wearing them before 9/11. Then wearing one not only supposedly "proved" patriotism, the lack of one, or the lack of a flag off one's front porch 24/7 suggested otherwise. I resented it. While people were giving lip service to the concept, the country was being hijacked with "patriot" acts, torture and a loss of civil liberties.
It's also that, save for my wedding ring, and an occasional pair of cuff links (were ARE they anyway?), I just don't DO jewelry. Someone gave me a cross to wear. I'm a Christian, so I tried wearing it for a while. It just didn't fit me; it's back in the box.
This is not to say that I never wear pins. I have a few hundred pins, and I'll pull out one for a special occasions such as St. Patrick's Day - "Kiss me, I'm the Blarney Stone.". I have a number of political buttons, but except for "Choose peace", I almost never wear them. Sidebar: our cars have never had bumper stickers; I mean, what does it really say about you to have a "Kerry/Edwards" sticker on your fender except to say the last 3 1/2 years weren't really your fault?
Every year, i get a pin indicating how long I've worked in the organization - 15 years! - which I wear at our annual conference, then put away or lose it. When I get a gallon pin from the Red Cross - 15 gallons - I tend to wear it for a day or two, then put it away or lose it.
I'd be disingenous, though, if I didn't resonate with this quote from a recent cover story in Time magazine, The State of Patriotism by Peter Beinart: "But for liberals, patriotic devotion without political struggle is often empty. Liberals think lapel pins are fine if they inspire Americans to struggle to realize the nation's promise. But they worry that those symbols can become--especially when wielded by people in power--substitutes for that struggle and thus emblems of hypocrisy and complacency."
I'm loving my country, but I'm not wearing on my sleeve. Or my lapel.
Music, August 1971: Concert for Bangladesh
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