Given the endless debate on what constitutes a patriot these days, we may be drifting into dangerous water here, but so be it.
Today is the real Flag Day.
The calendar says the holiday is in June. But it's really not. That's the Flag Day of fifth grade civics books. The real celebration happens to coincide with the opening of the college football season.
Look around. Short of the Fourth of July, when have you seen so many flags? On my block alone wave the banners of Tennessee, Clemson, Va Tech, West Virginia, and yes, Alabama.
The license plates run the gamut . . . LSU, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Notre Dame, both Carolinas. Ohio State plates are like kudzu -- an invasive nuisance that shows signs of taking the neighborhood.
As I sit here early in the countdown to kickoff of Georgia/Oklahoma State, it strikes me how absurd it is to write off Charlotte as a "pro town," whose sole gridiron obsession is the Panthers. That's the business of Sunday. And for anyone who thinks the college games don't matter, I invite them to streets where the burnt oranges and purples and crimsons have sprung up like fall flowers.
Flag Day has rolled back upon us. Celebrate the holiday in your own way. Here's mine. Roll Tide.
-- Michael Gordon