“If you don’t like living here,” they say, “if you don’t like living beneath this flag, you are free to live somewhere else.”
The here they are talking about is the United States. The flag, of course, the stars and stripes of Saturday’s fireworks extravaganza. But here is also Hawaiʻi. The state whose flag was once the flag of an independent nation.
I don’t know what to make of this. Of the idea that I should move away if I take issue with pledging allegiance to that flag. I may not live in Hawaiʻi any more, but that has nothing to do with the United States. Except for in all of the ways it totally does.
I love the US and I love my homeland. Sometimes these things are mutually exclusive. Mostly, however, they are not. Most of the time I find the United States and American patriotism completely intertwined with how I feel about Hawaiʻi. What I hope for her future. How much I want to be a part of it. And I do, whether or not I am ever able to move back home.
-Read more at: http://www.runningnekkid.com/content/if_not_here_where