The Flag of Our Union

More will be added to this post shortly. In the meantime, I would ask readers to consider the metaphor of the union, not as a counter to the Confederacy, but as a concept.  What does it mean to have a union between people?  What does it mean to have a unified country?  Is our country unified?  If not, why not?

The Flag of Our Union

by George P. Morris, 1860

“A SONG for our banner,”—the watchword recall,
Which gave the Republic her station:
“United we stand—divided we fall!”
It made and preserves us a nation!
The union of lakes—the union of lands—
The union of states none can sever—
The union of hearts—the union of hands—
And the Flag of our Union for ever
And ever!
The Flag of our Union for ever!

What God in His wisdom and mercy designed,
And armed with His weapon of thunder,
Not all the earth’s despots and factions combined,
Have the power to conquer or sunder!
The union of lakes—the union of lands—
The union of states none can sever—
The union of hearts—the union of hands—
And the Flag of our Union for ever
And ever!
The Flag of our Union for ever!

——————————–

More as promised…

When I think of a union, I think of a joining.  However, I don’t think, necessarily, of a joining in which each element of the union becomes one solid entity.  Rather, I picture a rock garden where plants, rocks, soil, earth creatures and seed reside together in a balanced ecosystem.

The United States needs such a system, one that allows for the individuality upon which this country prides itself.  It is true that together we must stand; however, we must stand next to one another, not on one another.

While the Northern cry for union was necessary in the case of the Civil War to preserve a nation, it could at times be oppressive and, as the South might put it, a “war of Northern aggression.”  States’ rights as an ideal and an extreme threatened to break apart the nation, but so did the Union flag which represented a faction, just as the Confederate flag did.

In the midst of the shouting, African Americans continued to live in a state of fear and uncertainty.  Though every civilian and soldier questioned, “What will happen to us?” the enslaved community was particularly vulnerable to the outcome of war.

I have already discussed my feelings on assigning “God” the responsibility and justification of war:  “What God in His wisdom and mercy designed” is an assumption that has razed our world since the beginnings of humanity.  I am quite sure the South also felt they had God on their side.

But I am convinced God does not appreciate the murder of what should be a peaceful co-existence.

Though when we, as Americans, compare ourselves to nations now engaged in Civil War and claim we are still more unified than “them,” we forget what a fragile political and social ecosystem we truly have.  We claw at one another over ideologies, religion, policy and interpretation of the Constitution.  We wage war with one another with our words, blaming groups for our problems as we make sweeping generalizations about people instead of searching for solutions.  If we look at the major issues facing our country today–immigration, education, poverty to name a few–we quickly see how the lack of union is ripping our country, community by community, to pieces.

What will it take to avoid another Civil War?

That is a question everyone should be asking, then unifying calmly, rationally and fairly, to discuss.

This is no easy task, obviously, but we have to start somewhere.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s