By writer Chris Lewis

My fiancé and I, like most people, love to keep our house both clean and attractive, inside and out. We especially take pride in the outward appearance we have created for our modest dwelling in a jam-packed section of central New Jersey, where houses are seemingly stacked upon houses and neighbors are essentially within arm’s reach from one’s window to the other’s.  My specialty is in lawn maintenance as well as with our vegetable garden, while her craft lies in the aesthetics of flower cultivation and other ornamental items. She is near obsessed with those decorative little garden flags. We agree on everything except one crucial detail: the inclusion, or lack thereof, of a star-spangled banner.

Surprisingly, given my extreme libertarian beliefs, she gets – or maybe just tolerates – me most of the time but, in this post-9/11 world of over-the-top contrived patriotism, she does not understand my conscious desire to leave that cloth totally absent from our property. But I do not fault her for that. The blame for her – and the vast majority of this nation’s – ignorance of facts lies squarely upon the shoulders of government and its public mis-education system. From a very young age we are taught to idolize this nation and everything it does, never to question anything, and never to know the truth unless pursued through independent study.

Our young minds are immersed in a history which casually evades the rigorous debates and fights surrounding the main point of its founding. The Boston Tea Party is as in-depth as most history classes go into educating children on the nature of the tax revolt leading to 1776, and even in that instance more is made out of the costume party than the actual substance of the event. The prescient writings of Patrick Henry and the Anti-Federalists are absent to the point of having never existed at all, and the Bill of Rights is mentioned only in passing and just as a reminder for the standardized test on the period. The injustices done upon native populations are – pardon the pun – white-washed over with celebrations of the notion of Manifest Destiny and with championing the blood-spillers as heroes. The fact that slavery was essentially rubber-stamped…READ MORE