Our Flag and a Dream

Written by on June 17, 2007 in The Healing Journey with 0 Comments

Thursday, June 14th, I sang the Star Spangled Banner for the State of the County Address at Commissioner Lori Mitrick’s invitation. This was a very significant moment for me. As a vocalist, yes, because it is a song that many singers consider challenging. But also because of an experience that moved the flag from a symbol, more often than not, associated with political rhetoric to something very personal.

Years ago, I had a dream about the American flag. In my dream, the flag took up my entire panoramic view. I could see glimpses of a clear blue sky in the background, almost like a frame, but across the wide expanse of my vision all I could see were the brilliant colors of red, white and blue, the flag moving in slow motion across the sky.

I was memorized. As I looked upon the flag I started to get a profound sense of ideals — of Justice, Freedom, Love, Compassion, Dignity, Truth, Integrity, Service, Community and Individuality. All those things whose synergy expresses itself as Democracy dawned upon my awareness, one by one. And the longer I looked upon this flag, the more real and deeper each one of those ideals became, until it was as if they had not only found their way into my awareness but had taken personified form and were standing beside me.

In that place, I began to wake up, and as I did I suddenly realized, “Oh! That’s what the flag stands for.”

No longer can I look at the American Flag and see it as somebody’s club colors or group endorsement. The American Flag is not a designer label to be slapped on the back of anyone’s political agenda or a particular administration’s policy to be either embraced or rejected.

It is not to be abused. It is not to be worn on the seat of your pants or torched by the match of your anger no matter how justified that anger may be.

It is not to be misused. It is not to be hijacked to serve your agendas or to become synonymous with your personal beliefs.

The American Flag does not belong to one point of view or one style of music or one group of people…or even several. This national symbol belongs to every American, because it represents nationally what belongs to every human being truthfully.

The American Flag belongs to us, as we belong to one another.

The fact is we are all brothers and sisters to each another, regardless our views, backgrounds or religious or political affiliations, whether we like it or not. The question is do we get along or do we squabble like angry relatives? Like most families, we might find ourselves at odds with our siblings. This is our strength. We can learn from each others perspectives, our mistakes and successes. We can learn about ourselves and the veracity of our beliefs, just by how we deal with those who disagree with us. And we can find a way to explore alternatives, to find a solution to the problems that face us through our combined effort.

We have so much to give to one another.

And if we must divide ourselves into “sides”, then let them be drawn with permeable boundaries, so that hearts may be united even as our feet stand on different grounds, on different ideologies — under one flag representing that which unites us all.

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, uses spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. "For the Sake of Love” is her collection of songs written on Demian's healing journey, and “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” is a children’s book she wrote for her daughter about the interconnectedness of life published by Illumination Arts and endorsed by Jane Goodall. Currently, Demian is working on recording episodes for her podcast and writing on the "Where There's Smoke Series on Covert Abuse". .

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