After seeing a couple mentions of this “dueling flags” thing in California, I’ve decided to offer my valuable perspective.
First, let’s take a moment to contemplate the wise words of Warrior Soul frontman Kory Clarke, who bellowed, “Don’t pledge allegiance to flags, I burn ’em!” Right on.
Secondly, anyone who wears American flag-themed clothing (which I thought was supposed to be disrespectful to the flag in the first place…?) makes me think of Kid Rock. Anyone who makes me think of that stupid, inbred, no-talent-having, slack-jawed yokel is automatically on my shitlist, especially when they’re only wearing the aforementioned apparel to be dicks in the first place, so fuck those kids. Like I said, burn all flags. But if that sounds unreasonable to you, well, living in this country provides you Homer Simpsons with endless opportunities to grab your foam finger and try to spell U-S-A at the top of your lungs, from pro wrestling events to watching the teevee and cheering about whoever we’re dropping bombs on this week. You can’t really blame other nationalities for wanting in on the fun.

Of course, we are talking about the public school system, which is not meant to educate or even indoctrinate, so much as housebreak, to encourage mindless conformity, whether through anodyne “cultural awareness” outlets throughout the school year, or some other expression of collective solidarity on this or that meaningless issue. As long as kids come out the other end as docile employees and consumers, lifelong receivers of baldfaced lies from their superiors, everything is jake. The second they pose an inconvenient question, or show any independent thought, instead of trying to talk with them, bureaucratic feathers get ruffled, and the warden drops the hammer.

Reflexive identification with brand symbols, whether national or corporate, and the ability to quickly form granfalloons and, if necessary, resort to violence, actual or implied, to defend them, are pretty much what life in this shopping mall of a nation is all about, so I don’t know what Heywood’s complaining about here — this is what passes for teaching them useful skills. The true independent thinkers have probably either dropped out or are sleeping in the back of the room with iPods in their ears.