Schooling a Smart-Ass

I am a bit of a smart-ass, a sarcastic sense of humor and enjoy humor out of people or things that I think take themselves too seriously.  Recently, I tried to search for and buy the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (incorrectly, but commonly known as the Confederate Flag).  On that day, a Google search returned with “your search returned no results”, which angered me.  So I went to a Yahoo search and found a place that was selling them.  I ordered 24 bandanas and sent them to friends and family with a note that FOCM recognized their inner rebel with this bandana, long a symbol of southern pride, defiance and states’ rights.  A friend and fellow lover of American history and in particular the Civil War, mailed flag back to me with this note:

Dear Good Friend,

Thank you, Chris, for your generous gift.  In regard for your feelings however I find it better to return it to you rather than have it suffer the ignominious fate it undoubtedly would be subjected to in my hands. Besides, the flagpole in front of my house has room for only one flag.  It looks similar to your gift – it has bars and stars and vibrant red, white and blue colors.  But rather than stand for slavery, racism, rebellion and regionalism, this flag stands for something completely different.  It represents ONE country, One union, while respecting difference of opinion. More succinctly put into Latin: “e pluribus unum”. It represents constant effort (which during these political times seems a Sisyphean task) toward a more perfect union, conserving the noble foundations of this country while always progressing to be better. 

If your gift stands for any “heritage” it is this: Never in world history have traitors been welcomed so generously back into their country, who then treated that generosity with such disdain, arrogance and defiance. 

In friendship,

I truly appreciated this response and think it is a great one.  America is truly the greatest country because of its acceptance of freedom of speech which allows me to be a smart-ass, poke fun at others and to be humbled by a friend who points out the seriousness of America’s over-arching principles.

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