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Motto flag an inappropriate gift to sheriff's office

A donor gave the local sheriff’s office a “motto flag” that displays “In God We Trust” in oversize script. The donor’s presentation cites dates of the national motto’s adoption by Congress. Those dates touch historic periods long past, including the Civil War and the Cold War.The national motto appears on coins and on paper currency, but has never been shown on the national flag.The gift flag design departs jarringly from the official, familiar Stars and Stripes. It scoops all the stars from their deep blue field and scatters them around the edge of a big white circle, like olives on a snack platter. Then a leering, great big bald eagle’s bust bursts through the center of the dish like Jack Nicholson’s face through the bathroom door. A white, all-caps, motto-bearing banner drapes across the eagle’s breast like a ravenous raptor’s baby bib. It makes a really frightening image that could scare any number of viewers, especially the uneducated, into thinking that God might be a predatory bird.The flag donor’s presentation credits the motto’s adoption with both victory and healing in the cases of the Civil and the Cold war. Congress last voted on the motto’s adoption in 1956, unanimously, to differentiate the United States from the godless Soviet Empire during the Cold War’s chilliest days.Most agree that the Union, not the motto, won the Civil War, but it is not clear whether the motto or the arms race won the Cold War. Some think Soviet leadership simply wised up to the opportunity of a rapid switch from autocracy to oligarchy. Multinational corporations, by the time of the Soviet collapse, had already taken over all of the west and remade it into a corporate oligarchy.The constant claim that God is on our side mirrors many of those we face as adversaries today. Suicide drivers of dynamite truckloads are known to shout as they plunge into chaos that God is great.Today we have somehow elected a President that mirrors, and repeatedly huddles alone and in secret with, a former Soviet leader that is the current ruler of an oligarchic Russia, while Congress looks the other way and yawns.

Jim Baird


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