First, flags are silly, and this comes from one who used to and still does collect flags. I buy a flag from every country I have visited and hang them in my garage, along with historic flags associated with "American" history.
It is how riled people get about a literal piece of dyed cloth, that makes them so disagreeable to me. People feel inclined or justified to kill other human beings that they have never met based upon the colored design imprinted (or sewn) onto a piece of textile cloth. I find this offensive and dangerous. Sure some flags may portray ideals that you may also identify with and you may even feel the need to openly advertise your association with that ideal (i.e. Gadsden Flag). Most wouldn't openly fly the Nazi Swastika, because of the negative association with that flag based upon the actions of the regime that flew it.
I used to fly the Cumberland Minutemen Flag, because it displayed more of an ideal (Don't F with me or we are going to blows) I felt in need of advertising at the time. I agree that others may find that same symbol as equally offensive and dangerous, but they usually be the same persons getting the warning of the flag itself. Pragmatically that just puts you squarely on the radar which only has negative side effects if you are worried about future aggressions. This is how I view the Black Flag.
When one flies the US Flag, I wonder what it is that they are attempting to self identify with? That is why I usually hoist the "Betsy Ross" Flag on the 4th of July, if I ever fly anything resembling the Stars and Stripes. I philosophically support the ideals and for the most part the actions of those who created and flew that symbol. I cannot, however, say the same for the colors that adorn our tax houses. But then again, I doubt that 85% of those who fly flags put that much mental effort into the action. "Muricka, Love her or leave her", is the cognitive depth of most I reckon. It is worth of note, I think, to mention that I fly the Betty Ross Flag upside down in my garage. It gets the most inquiry of all my flags.
Most (not all) flags are but symbols of a State, and I think the idea of The State is a silly man made notion about something that doesn't really exist. I think its silly to construct or willing submit to a system beholden to rule over me, whether that be organized religion of Deitys or the religion of the State matters not, both are equally silly. I no longer can envision flying the "mark" of my ruler. No longer will I place the mark of my master on the bumper of my car or my Yeti. Imagine for one moment that you are a slave in Georgia in 1850. Would you voluntarily fly the "brand" of your master over your shack? The same brand that has been laid into your back. Would you adorn your other worldly possessions with his brand? Would you sing songs in his honor before you played your games? "God bless Massa Jones' Plantation.....my home sweet home"
The Nazi's were masters at using symbolism to rile the masses, and they understood the effectiveness of glorification of the State and the danger of combining the 2 with large numbers of people. I watch films from the Nazi era, the Fascist Italian era, the Red menace in places like the USSR and China, and I can't help but see the blatant use of symbolism to control others. The blatant indoctrination and propagandizing. It's so obvious. Once I applied that same "outside looking in" application to what goes on here in the States, I easily dropped the nonsensical ideal that the same wasn't also occurring to us. So why voluntarily play their game and use their methods of controlling you, on yourself and others? I don't see the State as my friend nor my servant, but my master or at least one claiming to be so. Beyond camouflage, flying the flag of a State is completely nonsensical to a free man
Second and unrelated to flags, but towards the previous developing Christianity vs Atheism argument, is how the "how we got here" is such a hinge-pin in the debate.
All major religions throughout time have attempted to give man answer to three main questions; How did I/we get here? (Creation story) Why am I here? (My conduct and actions in the mortal coil) And Where am I going? (Man's fear of his own mortality).
So how did we get here? A God? A watchmaker creating watchmaker ( a watchmaker creator creator?) A radical expansion and contraction in the vastness of space? I don't know. But more importantly; Who gives a shit? What difference does it make on anything that happens today or tomorrow? Even if one aspires to believe in creation or evolution meanings nothing at the end of the day, because either way, you are just guessing as both are non-provable. Seems like a waste of time arguing what neither side can prove, let alone be a hinge pin part of the argument. Arguing either point, to me, seems to fit the definition of mental masterbation.