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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Coronavirus protesters turn the American flag into a symbol of selfishness

Huntington Beach protest
Demonstrators hold signs and American flags in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020, to protest Orange County beach closures.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Photos in the Los Angeles Times show the anti-lockdown protesters in Orange County waving Americans flags. To me, the American flag has always been a symbol of all that is good about us — our altruistic courage, generosity and compassion. The Stars and Stripes represent diversity and togetherness.

But increasingly I see the flag of our country becoming usurped by the right, corrupted into a symbol of anger, greed and mean-spiritedness. They use the Stars and Stripes in protest for the “freedom” to destroy the land, the air and our water.

Now, sometimes the American flag is waved alongside the Confederate flag, a symbol of white supremacy. Does our flag still evoke patriotism, or does it now symbolize selfishness?

Michael Wall, Three Rivers, Calif.

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To the editor: Don’t blame Gov. Gavin Newsom for closing the beaches in Orange County. The fault lies squarely with the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Had it put together a workable plan like Ventura County did, we could have been able to have access to the beach in an “active” fashion, with no coolers, umbrellas or tents, but walkers, swimmers, surfers and bikers out enjoying the beaches right now.

Sam Roberts, San Juan Capistrano

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To the editor: This is what I want to tell the protesters.

No one likes the economic shutdown, but I am sorry that whoever raised you made you believe that the world revolves around you, because (spoiler alert) it does not.

Your “right” to go to the movies, the beach or the nail salon takes a backseat to everyone else’s right to be protected against a new, highly contagious and deadly virus. No one is trying to take your rights away; rather, state and local officials are just trying to do their best to keep most of us alive.

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This is not about you. We must all look outside the narrow prism of our own little lives to see how our individual actions might affect everyone else. Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities is not freedom, it is adolescence.

So please, try to be a grown-up for now. This is not going to last forever.

Penelope Burley, Santa Rosa Valley, Calif.


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