The American flag is supposed to represent freedom. Many years ago, our Founding Fathers came to this land to start a new life, and when they did, they planted the flag into American soil. 

When planting that flag, they intended for it to mean a new start and freedom from the British government; however, as we now know, that freedom only extended to white men, not enslaved African people, women or Native Americans. 

Over the years, our country has grown to try to live up to what the flag was supposed to mean. We have passed amendments ensuring voting and civil rights; we have had revolutions, and many more historical events attempting to ensure freedom for all. 

Why is it then that in 2020, over 200 years later, we still have not fully achieved freedom and justice for all? 

Recently, I have been feeling standoffish whenever I see an American flag. To me, it doesn’t represent freedom or change, it represents oppression and a system that constantly fails people. 

I see that flag and I think of the America we live in now. Generally, I see the American flag coupled with a Trump flag, which makes me cringe even more. 

I don’t think the American flag, that is supposed to represent freedom, should be next to a flag that condones quite the opposite. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for the freedoms I currently have and for the heroes who fought and continue to fight for those freedoms, but I am a white, middle class woman and I have more freedom than a lot of other American people do. 

The American flag to me now is simply a flag. It reminds me of having to say the Pledge of Allegiance at 7:30 in the morning, five days a week at school.

By the way, there are few other countries that do this ritual every single morning. It honestly makes no sense and it is kind of creepy. What 12-year-old genuinely knows what they are saying? Is the government afraid a grade school kid is going to commit treason?  

Some other countries even call it nationalistic, and not in a positive way. The patriotism that was once associated with the flag is seemingly fading and turning into this nationalist outlook. 

We have made progressive steps as a country, but it seems like we take one step forward and two steps back. For example, Roe v. Wadewas decided in 1973, and for some reason there is still a possibility for it to be overturned. 

It doesn’t make sense for a progressive decision to be made, but still lingering in the distance with an option to be revoked. I think this has to do with how our faulty government is set up as a whole. 

It seems like every single time there is an election, the parties switch. This puts our progressiveness in a deadlock because no one wants to work with each other, and therefore no laws truly get passed. 

We were so close to having a parliamentary system, but the Framers went another way. If we had what Britain has now, we would have direct voting, most parties would have a place of power, including third parties, and candidates would have to do what they promise they are going to because of how the government is set up there. 

I honestly think the current climate of the United States leaves the American people in a constant state of bickering and hopelessness because nobody really knows what is ever going to happen. 

There have been times where I think, “Does any of it even matter?”