I was bummed several years back when some stupid, racist, loud, Republican Texans moved in next door. (There goes the neighborhood!!) They put up a 15-foot flagpole right in the middle of my view up the valley – an otherwise “pristine” view. Do I hate my country? Am I patriotic? Me, I think nations and empires are ephemera – they pass in the blink of an eye compared to the mountains that snag rain out of the clouds and send it down to water the landscape. How we all live has, should have, to do with things much deeper than lining up behind a flag.
I asked them to move the flagpole. Offered to pay for it. The reply? A nasty letter from a lawyer. And they hoisted Old Glory up, and left it there for two solid weeks – day and night, through storms including a hailstorm. They were gonna show me! Violate the basic rules of respect for the flag to spite me!
Lovely, life here in the bucolic countryside.
A coupla years later, in 2003, we had a medium-sized forest fire nearby which flared up on the 4th of July. Named the Encebado fire, it was started by lightning and burned about 5,400 acres.