A lot of bloggers are posting British flags on their blogs today, as a symbol of solidarity with the British people. In the wake of 9/11, millions of US flags appeared everywhere in a massive, resolute display of nationalistic pride and unity. It seems like posting a British flag is the thing to do.
But I’ve decided not to, and here’s why:
I don’t view today’s terorrist attacks in London as just an attack on Great Britain, just as I don’t view 9/11 as an attack only on the United States. On the contrary, those viewpoints are very risky because they allow others – including us Canadians – to divorce ourselves from the fight and think of ourselves as outside sympathizers instead of as members of what was attacked.
Make no mistake: we were attacked too today. All of us. Every time there’s a bus blast in Tel Aviv, it’s an attack on you and I. 9/11 was an attack on us personally, as was the Madrid train bombing, the blasts in Bali, and dozens of other terror attacks. They weren’t attacks on specific nations; they were attacks on general freedom.
If there were some sort of unifying symbol out there to represent our collective freedom that was attacked, I’d post it. But there aren’t any that I know of. So to the people of London, of England and of the UK: my thoughts and prayers are with you, but I won’t post your flag, because you’re not alone. An attack on freedom is an attack on each and every one of us.