Flagging the flag

Pomp, nationalism and demonstrations of military force before postseason baseball games always make me want to puke. And on Thursday night in Philly, I found yet another reason to feel sick to my stomach.

Members of the U.S. military took their places around the infield before the first pitch, toting the flags of the 50 states. At least, that’s what they were supposed to be doing. But one guy was carrying the now defunct, racist Georgia flag, featuring the oversized Confederate bars and stars. This state flag was abandoned, for good reason, in 2001 after a good deal of political warfare. It was replaced with one that no longer dredges up catastrophic images of institutional, Southern slavery. Now only the state flag of Mississippi features the symbol, and it is tucked a bit more diplomatically into a small corner.

But there on Thursday night, between first and second base, not far from where Ryan Howard was standing, was what amounted to a Confederate flag gently waving in the breeze. And even as I was screaming about this outrage in the press box, nobody seemed to notice or care a bit. The commissioner of baseball, who still allows Chief Wahoo to stare out from the caps of Cleveland ballplayers, probably thought this whole show was just wonderful.

I don’t get it. I suppose I never will. But just once I’d like to hear from Howard or one of the other players about the symbols still permitted to parade around baseball fields in America. This nonsense is always worst in October, when the games should be more than enough.

© Copyright 2008 NYDailyNews.com.

On The Web:  http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/bondy/2008/10/flagging-the-flag.html