04 July 2006

Independence Day

In honor of my nation's founding, a few things:

First, my annual rap on why I love the holiday.

Independence Day is the High Holy Day of American political identity. If you think about it, the Fourth of July is a strange choice of date. Consider the French equivalent, Bastille Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille and thus the event which demonstrated that the French monarchy was over. By similar reasoning, we should be celebrating when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown on 19 October, the battle of Lexington & Concord on 19 April, or (my favorite as an occasional lefty activist) the Boston Tea Party on 13 December.

But we don't. We celebrate the day that a bunch of guys signed a piece of paper.

Second, some more Independence Day goodies from me, including a little sentimentality about the American flag ... which you'll also get from this Jon Carroll story that I found via MKB's linkblog.

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