A few days ago, I saw a tattered American flag getting run over in the road. If it hadn’t been rush hour, I would have stepped into the the street to save it. But as it was, cars were whizzing by with no sign of stopping.
So instead of doing anything, I just walked on by. I felt badly about that.
It was a small flag. Probably came off somebody’s car as they flaunted their patriotism to the world. I wonder how they felt when it touched the ground.
Then today I saw this:
- The flag should not be used as “wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery”, or for covering a speaker’s desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general (exception for coffins).
- The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions.
- When a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.
So when I see cars go by, tattered flags taped to their antenna, it makes me wonder what the driver is trying to say.
The message I get is that they think they’re a big ol’ patriot who’s proud to be an American. The message I get is that they think I’m unpatriotic for not wearing my star-spangled jacket while jaunting down the street.
But when I see the flag in tatters, when I see it not taken in or illuminated at night, when I see the flag re-purposed for clothing and napkins…I see disrespect.
I am a patriot. That’s not a word commonly associated with liberals these days, but it’s true.
I am a patriot, and I show my respect for the flag by not displaying it. By not letting it become tattered, dirty, or darkened in my care.
I am a patriot. And no amount of flags flaunted by others will change that.