Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fighting over the flag, not just for it

The principal drawback of Americans' reverence for their nation's flag is that people are forever competing among one another over who has greater respect for Old Glory.

It's like a contest. My goosebumps at the sight of the flag are bigger than yours. No, mine are. Look at that hippie; I'll bet he has no goosebumps at all. Let's beat him up.

And every once a while, you'll hear of a case in which somebody will demonstrate that he's more patriotic than thou by hoisting in his yard a flag the size of Yellowstone Park, and then the neighbors will complain that they can't sleep at night for the noise, and then the matter will end up in the City Council or in court. Ah, America!

A few weeks back, The Rascal was driving past some building here in Rockford and noticed that the flag in front of the place was at half-staff -- but for no reason I could figure.

Perhaps it had something to do with one of the matters covered in this article today in The New York Times. The piece also deals with differing views -- again, competitive patriotism, in a sense -- over just when the flag should be flown at half-staff.

If we ever again come to civil war in this country, close quarters combat probably will involve fighting one another with flag staffs.

POSTCRIPT: Some contractor in Pennsylvania has been caught illegally outsourcing the manufacture of flag patches for U.S. military uniforms. He gets them from Thailand.

At least one patriot likens the offense to flag-burning. But, of course, the violation involves a law intended to promote American businesses. The law has nothing to do with respect for the flag. Lots of Americans fly American flags that were made elsewhere, even if only unknowingly.

(H/T to AmericaBlog)

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