It all started at the beginning of the Olympics when I saw this tweet:
and I was baffled.
I did not understand that feeling. I can't imagine ever feeling like that, no matter what the flag or the country.
If I watch the Olympics it's to marvel at the feats, the skill, the hard work behind the success. Those synchronised high divers, for example. Astonishing! I watched them with the sound turned off, and was thankful not to be a judge. There was only one pair who I saw with an obvious flaw. I have no idea what country they came from.
And I am fond of supporting underdogs. And runners who fall down and then get up and win the race. Which country was that guy from?
I am not big on flags or patriotism. I see them as divisive and with the potential to lead to conflict and war.
I wondered if anyone else liked the Olympics but only wanted the best competitor to win, no matter where they were from, so I asked Karen, my Californian aging hippie friend. She agreed. Perhaps she also has a missing gene.
I pondered about whether there ever could be an occasion when I would be shouting for 'my team.' I used to stand on the touchline and shout when the family member who declines to be named played footie as a teenager.
If there were a competition between the North and London I would shout for the North. That gives me a clue. Is it just that I don't identify with the UK brand? (I hate the current government's policies. And I ashamed of their attitude to refugees, and the lack of succour they offer. )
Or is it just that I don't like flags and patriotism?
It's the human species I care about. Xenophobia and racism are increasing everywhere. Perhaps flags and borders exacerbate them. What do you think?