If you were watching John McCain’s acceptance speech at the RNC on Fox, then this image was hard to miss:
After posting recently about Sarah Palin and the 49-star flag, the appearance of a 51-star flag really got my attention. The network kept showing this section, but I could not tell which delegation this was. Most likely, it was Washington, DC, but it could have been anyone in support of DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the US Virgin Islands. As a flag nut, I was going berserk wondering a) who are they? and b) why does Fox keep showing the flag?Of course, with John McCain speaking, it was quite a juxtaposition. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, a territory of the U.S. from 1903 to 1979 (with joint American-Panamanian control until 1999). In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt evoked the 1823 Monroe Doctrine and bull-moosed his way into building the canal, following Panamanian independence from Colombia and the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty, granting the United States full and everlasting control over the lands five miles to either side of the canal. Then, in 1977, President Carter signed the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, putting a dated end to the Zone’s official territorial status.
I find it quite interesting that some group was at the RNC, during McCain’s speech, advocating for one of our territories to become a state when McCain himself was born in a place that America freely handed back to its indigenous peoples. Were they merely supporting his Constitutional eligibility to become President by recognizing that he was born in an American territory to American citizens? Do they want us to take back the Zone? Or was this whole thing a fluke of which territorial RNC delegation the Fox cameras happened to be pointed at?
My Point: At the end of his speech, McCain rallied, “America makes history!” and this is so true, especially in relation to expansionism. Much of our historic endeavors have related to making the world a freer place live, both by acquiring territory and admitting new states (such as McCain’s home of Arizona and Sarah Palin’s home of Alaska) but also by helping other people around the world break the bonds of oppression without any sort of annexation. The flag displayed at the RNC last night brings up the notion that we are not done yet with either with our territories or our worldwide mission. Though we have not admitted a state since 1959 and have not flat-out annexed a territory (larger than a zone or base) from another country since 1898, these issues will come up sooner rather than later and our leaders will have to deal with them. Given that the Canal Zone, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii are all represented with this year’s candidates for POTUS and VP, it will be interesting to see what happens.
None of this answers why Fox kept showing the flag.
Btw, I think that nine stars across is too many. Based on flag history, I would advocate for the return of the Great Star pattern, like the one shown here (though more exact and better proportioned), but with ten stars to a side, making 50, and one star in the middle for 51.
DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP
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