Saturday, 10 August 2013

Last Refuge of Scoundrels

Playing it up with flags.
Kudos to scoundrels for hiding behind the flag.  They recognize what's important.

Samuel Johnson famously said patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.  This is an indictment of scoundrels, not patriotism. Love of your corner of the homeland is so basic it doesn't need to be taught any more than I need a reminder in the morning to look at my wife with tender regard.  The strength of our natural love for parents and the places where we grew to adulthood is what makes it a refuge for scoundrels, something that will last after their own stratagems for power have failed.

The flag extends the gifts of kinship to people otherwise strangers.  The acerbic line is true: "He may be a bastard but he's our bastard".    Patriotism goes beyond the people to include a kinship with the land.  We each treasure some landscapes of Canada as a part of our life.  No wonder that people in Saskatchewan wanted to include Prairie Skies as one of the seven wonders of Canada.   For me I am moved by the fragrance of greasewood bloom in the Okanagan, by peeking from Saturna towards Vancouver and more.

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