Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's a Grand Old Flag...

So much to-do in the news about the American flag and proper procedures when it is displayed.

A Miami police chief is chastised for not saluting the flag.

A crowd does not fully respond with respect to the flag’s passing; some sitting, some standing, some chewing on hotdogs.

Stupid, stupid drunk boys urinate on the flag of their country. 

The President of the United States does not salute the flag during the national anthem; fodder for ridicule.

I decided to check with Emily Post about flag manners.  Seemed like as good a place as any.  I noticed some key points.

The flag is alive. As a material symbol of our commitment to every man’s freedom, it lives.   We know too well the lives lost in defending it.    

It never dips to any person or thing, despite how dippy they might be.

It must be raised briskly; lowered solemnly.

It can never be washed; but it can be dry-cleaned.  When damaged beyond repair, with something like, for instance, is ceremoniously burned.

In times of national tragedy it flies at half-mast at sea; at half-staff on land.

On a power boat, it’s called an ensign.  On an automobile, it’s called a standard.  On your lapel, it better be on the left.

It remains aloft from sunrise to sunset.

When it passes, we stand at attention with our right hands on our hearts.  If we’re wearing a hat, we hold the cover over our hearts.  Veterans salute.

How well we have all come to know the dark blue union at the head and resting over the left shoulder of the deceased, as burial ceremonies ensue.

I love our flag;  I always have. 

It was part of our family culture.  My father taught us early how to stand and salute the flag.  Family memories are full of such occasions.

As little boys and girls we stopped our games on the playground at the sound of retreat; jumping off the monkey bars to stand with our hands over our hearts or stiff palms at our brows, facing the nearest flagpole.

As teenagers, no amount of drink could have convinced us to relieve ourselves on the flag of our father. 

I really can't fathom frat boys being so inebriated they couldn't wet their pants before they'd wet our flag.

Our flag has been blown up, beat up--despite such weary battles, it thrives.

It deserves so much more from us.

I don’t really understand how a police chief or a President could choose not to salute the flag.

I’m not sure stupidity trumps patriotism.

I'm not sure our religion supersedes our nationality.  

An American reveres the flag.  An American salutes the flag.  

It’s pretty simple. 

The thing is, though…thousands of Americans have died for our freedom to argue these points.   

The flag of our nation draped each of their coffins.