A favorite elephant within an elephant within an elephant--from India
I love elephants and have quite a collection of them though I can only think of two which were not gifts from one of the 400 international adults we've hosted in our home since 1980. The one above, brought to me from India by my husband, is actually three elephants carved from one piece of stone. Some of my favorites are elephant jewelry but I rarely wear them because elephants have been co-opted by an ideology I strongly disagree with.
When we were younger, we always put out the American flag on Flag Day and Independence Day. Then in the late 60s the "love it or leave it" crowd began to paste flags, along with that slogan, in the back window of their vehicles. And more recently, patriotism has become associated with religious fanaticism. I just cannot figure out what is appropriate about playing religious songs during the 7th Inning Stretch of baseball games. I am patriotic, love our country and support our troops. I still stand, honor the flag and proudly sing the Star Spangled Banner to begin the game. However, I usually go for ice cream when God Bless America or America the Beautiful is sung between the top and bottom halves of the seventh inning and, sadly, we no longer fly the flag at our home.
I used to pride myself on being "fair and balanced." Now even that pronouncement comes with a paragraph of disclaimers.
What I continue to do, however, is hold fast to multiple options instead of "either-or" dichotomies, advocate the scientific method for determining the soundness of scientific claims, and support research on problematic social issues in order to find viable solutions--not to produce topics for political propaganda and/or financial gain.
I am thankful that no offensive cause has yet commandeered any of my favorite symbolic birds, the corvids (crows, magpies and jays), as its mascot. I suppose crows are too in-your-face and raucous for most organizations, certainly not appropriate for a political organization catering to the corporate elite.