one of my favorite character moments is when steve rogers says “the stars and stripes? arent they a little old fashioned?” because that line just crystalized for me that mcu steve isnt about america, he’s never been about america, he’s always been about ideals not nations, always been about actions, not symbols, always been about freedom, not patriotism. the stars and stripes from the very beginning are a joke—first they represent his status as performing monkey, then at the hydra facility, he turns the captain america into a literal punchline. and even bucky recognizes the farce of it when he says ‘let’s hear it for captain america!’ it’s not america that saved those men. america left those ment to rot. it’s steve who saved them—steve, who is fighting not for “his country” but for people of all counties.who’s fighting not against america’s enemy, but the enemy of all countries and all the ideals he stands for. he’s further self-deprecating about the persona of captain america when he asks bucky whether he’d follow cap into the jaws of death. and bucky very deliberately makes the distinction again—captain america? nah. steve? yes.
steve lives and dies in first avenger—for his code, not his country. his country just happens to be aligned with his principles, but i have no doubt that if they weren’t, steve would’ve found a way to volunteer for another country’s supersoldier experiment. that fighting for america isnt the imperative for him, but fighting for what’s right is.
and this doesnt change in winter’s soldier, either. what we see time and again is that the politics, the nationalism, the patriotism, all of that gums up the works—it clouds steve’s sense of purpose, becomes downright insidious. what is clear, and what is worth fighting for by the end, is something simple: freedom. it’s the word that is clear as a bell at the end of the film, when all else is dead (shield) or dying (the wsc) or messy beyond the telling of it (the government?????)
and yeah, freedom is often (erroneously) used as a synonym for america. americans are all about saying things like “freedom fries lol” or “where at least we know we’re free” (smh toby keith) but i think what’s great about the movies is they set steve up to be steve first and captain america second. so when we see steve exemplify fighting for freedom and righteousness and doing the hard thing way before he becomes captain america, we understand a little that these concepts arent exclusive to a country. they dont embody a country. theyre human ideals. because steve is a very human superhero.
in the end, i think the uniform has always been a symbol for others more than it has been for steve. i think steve wears it in winter soldier more as a way to remember who he was as a person when he first wore it rather than to connect with ~true blue american ideals~ and i think that while others look at the uniform and think “freedom” and “honor” and connect it to america, steve looks at the uniform and thinks “freedom” and “honor” and connects it to the men from many different countries whom he fought alongside. others look at the uniform and remember a country, steve looks at the uniform and remembers his self, his story.
and i can see steve being pragmatic about the need to give the american people a beacon to pin their hopes on, and that’s why he wore the uniform through war in the first place. and force of habit turned it into an identity now so he continues to go by that persona. but i dont think he’s the gung ho patriot who loves america so much he wears star spangled underwear, like everyone pretends he is. i think he’s a good man first and foremost, and an idealist next, and a brooklyn-bred boy third, and ~america’s champion last.
This meta is so important to me. I’m not American, and for a long time I avoided Captain America because I associated it with a very specific brand of exclusionary cultural chauvinism which equated freedom and morality with being american as though ONLY americans could believe in all these universal positive values. But Steve Rogers isn’t exclusionary at all. He puts on the Captain America regalia, but he doesn’t put on blind patriotism with it - he stays true to his own ideals. Nick Fury shows him Project Insight, and at that point in the narrative it would be perfectly understandable for Captain America to see the helicarriers as the only way to protect ~*~AMERICA~*~. Steve looks at Insight and sees invasion, and he sees a threat. Steve Rogers doesn’t think about America as much as he thinks about humanity, to me. It’s almost odd that he accepts a role as symbolic of a post-Cold War mentality as the one being Captain America would require him to be, a mentality of American exceptionalism which would not necessarily be part of his own ideals. Steve Rogers is not a perfect soldier. He is a good man. I don’t understand Captain America, but I understand Steve Rogers. Steve is someone any person can look up to as a hero, no matter their nationality, because what he represents isn’t where stars and stripes and eagles fly so much as freedom, truth and justice in their best possible forms, for everyone. These are American values, but they’re not ONLY American values, and Steve Rogers is able to express that as a universal symbol and hero, not an American one.
imagine being in ravenclaw and going back to your common room stumbling drunk in the middle of the night after a magical night of partying and having to answer a fucking riddle in order to get in your own goddamn bedroom
"what gets wetter and wetter the more it dries"
"your mom eeyyyyyyy"
youd need a designated answerer instead of driver
Luna would do that without hesitation or judgement