It's Fourth of July weekend, and I have to make up my mind. Will I go attend the Greeley Independence Day Parade today or stay home to watch Germany play in the 2010 Soccer Worldcup against Argentina? It's a dilemma. I love going to the parade. It's the only time of year when you see lots of people in the streets, and the flags, floats, horses, rodeo queens, and marching bands look so colorful and eyepleasing.
But what flag should I put up this morning? Our family owns two flags: An American and a German flag which we fly in front of our house to represent our different nationalities. I have to say it is mostly my husband who puts up the flags - even for the German holidays and soccer matches.
Since I grew up in Germany, I have very a different attitude when it comes to displays of patriotism. I wonder what history lessons in school look like in Germany these days. But when I was growing up, the last two years of highschool history lessons were mainly spent on the evils of Nazism. The slogan "NEVER AGAIN" was pounded into our heads. Flags and displays of National pride were all part of this evil, if not commited, but allowed by my parents and grandparents.
The other day I was listening to my favorite local radio station, KUNC. They had a story about Germany and the struggle over flagfree zones during the Worldcup. If you missed it, please go here for an interesting read on this 4th of July weekend:
Of course, I am cheering for Germany this weekend. I will skip the parade this year and go watch the game now... I think one thing I have learned living in the US is that displaying a flag and a sense of National pride are not always bad. It is okay to fly our two flags together on this day. We can live together as two peaceful Nations but must remember that this priviledge had to be earned at times through bloodshed and hard lessons...