Eighteen months ago I was involved in a facebook stoush over a vandalised war memorial.
I suggested that it wasn't a big deal since the memorial was only marketing material for the next war anyway, and no great loss; that the great loss actually occured when obeying politicians landed all those names on the marble a century ago.
Among the furious, chest beating responses was this gem.
White feathers were given to young men in civilian clothes, by patriotic young women in the UK during WW1.
It was an accusation of cowardice, and indication of romantic ambivalence in the face of their shirked civic responsibility to enlist.
It was largely successful in shaming young men into joining the war, but also became a source of shame for the women handing them out.
Decades later, despite the anecdotal participation of thousands of young women, a public request to interview those involved found only two women willing to admit they had handed out the feathers.
When I was awarded this digital feather, a suggested new profile pic, I realised that given the global nature of the internet it would ironically make a really good one.
While a few million of my more patriotic countrymen might see me as advertising my own cowardice and ingratitude, 6 billion foreigners might be put at ease by my public renunciation of aggression.
Since politicians can only garner internal support for war by exaggerating threats, the more foreigners who advertise themselves online as conscientious objectors, the more hollow these frantic assertions sound and the fewer wars we'll have.
And now, thanks to the permanent and public nature of the steemit blockchain I have an opportunity to personally, formally accept the white feather in a public forum.
In that spirit, I make the below declaration;
I'd like to encourage others to join me in posting similar sentiments tagged #whitefeather and hope it becomes a growing digital list to eventually replace the cold, dead marble ones.
To this end, I'll follow every steemer who uses the whitefeather tag to post a personal, verified declaration of non aggression. (I'm no whale, but I have a little SP)
I'll also spend all steem dollars this post wins promoting #whitefeather posts.
One hundred years ago, during a gruesome display of obedience, the state gave us a symbol of defiance and expected us to be ashamed of it.