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Are the rest of you seeing this, or is it just me? Or do the rest of you just not care about something that irks me? (Or have you beaten the topic to death already?)

On Ancestry, there's that watchamadiggey that allows people to scan in images. Sometimes it's something very interesting. There might be a page from a book or journal about someone, or a picture of something related, like the house some ancestors lived in. Sometimes it's pictures (like lots and lots of pictures of the Salem Witch Trials. Thank you, I already know what my ancestors were like. You don't get called Sam the Witch Hunter for sitting home and twiddling your thumbs). Sometimes it's heraldic crests, a lot of which seem to be confusing and leads me to suspect that vague relatives have not done the necessary research to locate the correct crest.

But a lot of times it's flags. American flags. Picture of American flags stretched on a wall (in one case incorrectly) flags being waved by young women half-falling out of their clothing while running across a battlefield, flags rippling, and so on. Sometimes there are little statements (like the one I saw a few minutes ago that caused me to start pondering on the subject). There was an American flag, and the statement, "Ben was an American!"

Well, no he wasn't. Ben lived and died in something called the Massachusetts Bay Colony. America didn't exist then. It did not exist until more than a decade after Ben died. If you are going to call him an American, then at the very least I want some proof that something Ben did or said added to the creation of America.

I have another ancestor who argued in court against the mistreatment of Quakers, who rejected the idea that only ordained ministers should be allowed to preach, and who denounced the Salem Witch Trials. I can make a case for him being an American, because his was a voice demanding freedom of speech and freedom from religious tyranny. He, and many, many others like him added to the beliefs and attitude that eventually became America.

But flag waving for someone who died in 1752 seems a bit presumptuous.

Does this ever bother the rest of you? Or do you just shrug it off?

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