Respecting our sacred symbol
Last updated 11/3/2017 at Noon
You see HER all around our community, our county, our state and our nation. She is usually above us and as we look up at her Red, White and Blue colors waving in the breeze Old Glory often makes our hearts skip a beat and salty tears often temporarily cloud our eyes.
As an Army medic serving our country near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea, I often thought how beautiful She is and what great values HER majesty signifies not only to me but to the world!
When I returned to my home soil I often saw our beloved symbol being disrespected. It’s many copies often flow over used car lots in order to entice potential car buyers to come onto their “patriotic” sales lots. Then at night too often I saw that SHE would be hanging from houses, trees or buildings without any light shining upon her. She was just left to be lonely in the darkness.
Now SHE is violated by people, at least I hope probably unknowingly, by having her sewn onto a cap, a shirt, or a sports uniform and paraded around as ordinary decoration.
I’ve often often seen these and several other June 22, 1942 Federal Flag Code Law (77-623; chapter 435) violations as I wander within not only the boundaries of our attractive Mill Creek but beyond our city perimeters.
Below are only a few of the more than fifty United States Flag codes (etiquettes) which are often times violated
- The Flag should never be dipped to any person or thing, unless it is the ensign responding to a salute from a ship of a foreign nation.
- The Flag should never be drawn back or bunched up in any way.
- The Flag should never be used for any advertising purpose.
- The Flag should not be used as a costume for animals; as fashion apparel; or for any decoration in general (except to drape over coffins).
- During the summer months we see people using the colors and rectangle of our flag as swimsuits, tee-shirts, on sunhats and SHE is even made into the shape of sunglasses. Then I assume to “show” an adult’s patriotism viewers might even see HER used as a beach towel!
- The Flag should not be used as part of a costume or as part of an athletic uniform with the exceptions a flag patch may be used on the uniform of our military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of an established patriotic organizations.
It’s appalling for me to write, SHE is becoming more and more the voice of football, soccer, baseball and other sports since Old Glory is now stitched, painted, or patched onto uniforms including helmets. By us letting HER be placed onto any uniform; are we not condoning the degradation of HER when SHE is rubbed into the dirt or muddy sodded fields?
- When displayed on a motorcar in a parade, The flag staff must be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender. Many of us often see Old Glory attached to the bed of a pickup truck. This is wrong since SHE should never take the back seat to anything!
I am taking this opportunity to challenge anyone to count the number of motorcars in the City of Mill Creek’s upcoming Veterans Day parade that did not heed to the United States federal flag code.
- The Flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly when used during ceremonies.
- The Flag should be displayed only when the weather is fair, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
- The Flag should be displayed between sunrise and sunset, although the Flag Code permits night time display "when a patriotic effect is desired" and HER Honor is spotlighted!
How often have you seen our Stars and Strips left in the darkness? Those who disrespect HER in this way are symbolically telling us it is okay for the lights of our Democratic-Republic to burn out.
- When our Flag is so tattered that it becomes no longer a symbol of the United States, it should be put to rest in a dignified manner, preferably by cremation. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, regularly conduct dignified flag-burning ceremonies.
Darn right, let us not be situational Flag supporters, but rather let us all use the Federal Flag Code of 1942, and its amendments, on how we should show our respect for our cherished Old Glory!