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Life Arts

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Flag: MD Follows His Heart on 900-Mile Trek

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Dr. Robert McNary with his flag. by Duane Kolman for

McNary says, "The heart element is as yet unknown to national flags. But, it may be time for a true birthing of heart in the great land of America. The gold fabric in this flag can easily bring to mind the Golden Rule, that "God is Love,' and that we are intended to be One Nation Under God."

The Heart of the Matter

"No flag from any country in the world features a heart," he notes, "Some use symbols with deep and ancient meaning - like the Star of David, the Yin-Yang (Korea), Rising Sun (Japan), and others. But no hearts. I should think that feminists would support a flag with a heart. So should people who promote peace, like Dennis Kucinich. How are we ever going to shift from regular wars toward peace and goodwill without people and governments learning to use their hearts? And seeing the symbol is the first step."

by Meryl Ann Butler for

His flag measures 3 by 5 feet, and construction took many hours:  measuring and cutting out the red, white and blue nylon, and stitching together by hand and by machine. Raw edges were heated with a soldering iron to prevent fraying.

Dr. Robert McNary with his flag, friend Audrey checks out his work by Duane Kolman for

Dr. Bob notes that the focus of his "Harlo to Reno" trek will again be on the  philosophical meanings of the symbols on his flag, "with the added benefit of ten years' review of the inspired imagery, and a greater awareness of the changes which the USA is experiencing."
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Putting His Best Foot Forward

When asked, Dr. Bob responds that he, "would rather not instruct people in what this flag means," preferring that they enjoy the journey toward their personal insights. 

He reveals that it took him quite some time to fully explore his own understanding of these images, and notes that he continues to examine new perspectives. Therefore he invites people to consider their own deeper sense of the meaning of flag, country and ideals via these powerful symbols.

One of the definitions of a flag is as a "signaling device," and on his treks he hopes it signals a message of love and goodwill as it waves. He believes that in order to heal the citizenry and the nation, we must overcome divisions, love our neighbors AND our adversaries, and extend America's goodness and wealth to everyone.

Dr. Bob's 2012 Journey by Duane Kolman for
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I asked him how others might get involved, and he responded,  "They could make their own flags, display them, wear them, pass the idea on in some way. They could paint hearts on abandoned buildings, like those sitting around Detroit, just rotting."

They could follow his blog at

And if they happen to see him waving his flag on the highway, a wave back and a bottle of cold water would be appreciated!

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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Beautiful story!  It's so sad that these type... by Robin Rae Swanson on Monday, Sep 3, 2012 at 1:22:07 AM
And thanks for passing the link along!  So ma... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, Sep 3, 2012 at 2:17:33 AM
Every one can be part of the Spiritual Revolution.... by Robert McNary on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 12:59:24 PM
I gather you made it to a public internet place! P... by Meryl Ann Butler on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 1:33:33 PM
On Sept 2,  having completed his first 25 mil... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, Sep 3, 2012 at 9:49:08 AM
[[BOB0903]]From Bob's friend Duane: Here's a photo... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, Sep 3, 2012 at 12:20:43 PM
Dr. Bob is walking the Convict Grade Rd from Sprin... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012 at 11:28:13 AM
Interesting photo.I suspect the road would tell a ... by Robert McNary on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 1:56:19 PM
Meryl Ann.Thanks for the great article. At the lib... by Robert McNary on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 12:22:50 PM
We'll be glad to see your pix when you get your ca... by Meryl Ann Butler on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 at 1:34:23 PM
Dr. Bob's 64th birthday was heralded early in the ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 at 10:48:50 AM