reagrding the first message posted here
if looking at the flag of the United States reminds you of the republican party you need to be more alert and resistant to how other entities program you
take a very powerful symbol of the US flag and define it more on YOUR terms not somebody elses.
the american flag is a symbol that is highly flexible
keep in mind that there are many types of american flags too
"dont tread on me" for example, or
a flag with 13 stars in a circle represents more Revolution to me--
and a flag with 50 stars in it represents more Empire to me
guess what ? today you live in an empire...and there are positive and negative things about being a part of it. the same goes for its flag.
granted being at bman there is an empowerment about its properties as a temporary autonomous zone
one often feels like you are on another planet and/or dimension so the presence of a US flag can seem so--limiting or even quaint? or just too much of a reality you wanted to leave behind...ok..fair.
i think its fine that folks fly american flags--hey its part of ones communication--its a multilayered trip
more directly, its a very visually interesting and emotional symbol and since it provoked you to the point that you posted this forum query--well accept that as a valid growthful part of your everevolving impossible to define bman consciousness
im not the greatest lover of the flag but i still love it and the country.
but--i dont love it the way a loyal 4th grader loves it.
nor do i challenge (hate?) it the way a rebellious 18 year old does.
i relate to these things as a more even keeled adult. you know. and since i have a choice to relate to the flag on a more positive or a more negative note
i choose the positive...its more healthy to use it as an ally than as an enemy. and if you can dig the flag, it gives you a huge bridge to other americans who may not be as critical or burner type as you but are just down home good people.
ive done alot of travel in the usa and ive felt that the presence of a us flag sticker on the rear view mirror helps me out alot. not necessarily among counterculture rebel types (ive got other 'ins'), but among the establishment and everyday joes.
it can act as a huge symbol of unity...it can build an "im one of you mentality"
i believe that cops respect you more if you display the flag, local yokels accept you more, and it makes my freakky nature a little more digestible for the masses.
helps start up conversations that you may have never had
keeps you out of trouble in a way... psychically, culturally, maybe prevented a speeding ticket or two?
and if youve ever travelled in a foreign country and display the local flag on your backpack or tent---it can act as a bridge between you and the locals
that being said bman is not your everyday thang
remember too that
the event does take place on PUBLIC land in the United States, which "belongs" to all us citizens.
we have public land
what a concept
bman did not originate in other countries. it started here and this is where its main thang is held, even as it replicates in other locales
contrary to some of the other comments posted in this forum---whether bman could have originated in another country is moot--IT DIDNT!
for one thing, dont underestimate the effects of the physical environment on shaping the event--the presence of a large remote (but not too remote), openslated salt flat is critical to the bman experience-----so that eliminates non desert countries...etc (dont get into baker beach stuff--not quite the same thing)
also--the way bman is requires a certain degree of surplus--of time, materials, enthusiasm---which you dont necessarily have in poorer nations
so in my brief list of remaining nations theres not that many left---too poor, inaccessible, dangerous, conservative----
i respect that the convergence of events that allowed bman to emerge and continue have unique and synchronistic elements of US culture.
but maybe its just chance too
ok back to the flag and the nation---whether you like or not, if you are an american citizen, you end up carrying both the fruits and the baggage of the national karma...fortunately, you get to shape it too---and thats a really bmanesque/american idea too
a little bit of international travel will ring this home even clearer
furthermore one can consider bman a microcosm of the american experience as whole.
quintessentially the ultimate american event. the usa in miniature--highly distilled and concentrated.
aspects of freedom, abundance, decadance, beauty, tranquility, unity
also aspects of restraint, scarcity, austerity, horror, destruction, tribalism and anarchy
historically the immigrants/residents to both America and Burningman have imbued both "events" with high degrees of utopianism. and that utopianism was more pure , more exciting, more genuinely free when they were both younger...
as the "unoccupied" space became more populated and the culture became more established, an awareness of each's shortcomings became more apparent
elements of control emerged and vested members of the communities
contemplated what has been lost from the original vision---whatever that was--seeee
also whats been gained through growth and maturity
so thats why you (we, we all) have mixed feelings about the flag.
just remember, overall---its a good thing