'The brilliant cliché of the Fourth of July'
Hub Blog readers know I'm no fan of James Carroll. But, boy, did he park one
the other day. It's a beautiful tribute to America. ... It inspired me to look up the text of the Declaration of Independence.
What a document. Read it. Notice all the grievances they cite. It's often infuriating to hear history taught as if unwanted taxes were at the heart of the American Revolution. But the Founders' complaints were so much more profound. Some of the language indeed makes you wince ('Indian Savages'). But, as Carroll notes, the brilliance of the American experiment is its ability to take our 'nascent idealism' and self-correct mistakes that don't live up to our principles. ... For patriotic reasons, I also started surfing the web for an American flag to stick up on Hub Blog. I discovered that the first unofficial American flag was the Grand Union Flag
(as shown above), first flown here in Boston for George Washington. An earlier version was the Don't Tread On Me Flag
. Of course, Philadelphia is once again trying to steal Boston's thunder by pushing the Betsy Ross revisionism. Philly has tried to steal Ben Franklin from us and now this. We'll settle scores with Philly later. For now, enjoy the hot dogs and happy Fourth of July!