The United States Flag Etiquette - Page 2

The United States Flag Etiquette

This is a discussion on The United States Flag Etiquette within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; [flamesuit_on] One thing I appreciate about the American flag is what it represents. It represents the best country in the world. It represents the Constitution ...

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Thread: The United States Flag Etiquette

  1. #16
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    [flamesuit_on]

    One thing I appreciate about the American flag is what it represents. It represents the best country in the world. It represents the Constitution and the rights we as Americans enjoy every day. It protects the individual, not just the majority. That includes protecting the individual's right to free speech and right to protest.

    You know where I'm going.

    The American flag represents the right to burn the American flag. It would make my own father angry if he heard me say that, but I'll say it just the same. I am no less patriotic or less American because I believe an American has the right to burn the American flag. That flag also represents the right for you, an American, to openly disagree with my opinion.

    My father flies his flag in his yard day and night, with no night illumination. It's improper according to the Flag Etiquette, but don't ever tell my dad he's being unpatriotic. He had two tours in Nam, and volunteered before the draft. This country called for him to risk his life for it, and he did it without question. He'll fly his flag at night as he pleases. If you trespass across his yard to take it down, you do so at your own risk.

    My dad also sells American flags in his hardware store. He had one displayed in the window, vertically. Apparently the stars were on the wrong side, but that depends if you're walking into the store or out of the store. Apparently some insulted veteran decided to fluff up and show that he was more American than my dad, so he stormed in and gave dad a biting lesson in Flag Etiquette. Dad, being the calm gentleman he is, told him he meant no offense. Insulted American stormed back out, probably still fuming that such an ignorant, un-American person could manage to own a store from the sweat of his own labor.

    Would I personally burn the flag? No. There's far more constructive ways of getting your point across if you're going to protest, but that's just my opinion. If you hate America so much, then move out. Move to China and enjoy the rights and priveleges there. Heck, you might get the firing squad if you're caught burning their flag. I won't stop you from burning an American flag, unless you do it in my yard or in a manner or location that is hazardous.

    I've also worn the American flag in protest. I did so as a model in a poster, in a concept that was mine. This was during the time when racist tensions were extremely high against Arab Americans, because apparently since some extremists decided to become murderers by using airplanes as missiles, all Arabs were considered terrorists, including those who have peacefully and lawfully immigrated here to enjoy the rights many natural-born Americans take for granted. I watched as my former forum tore at itself with racism, and I watched the news in dismay as the innocent American shopkeeper's store down the street from me was vandalized because he was Arabic.

    So I took my flag, the large 4x6 one that used to fly over the Pulaski Courthouse, and I draped it over myself like a burqua, and I was photographed with the caption, "Arab Americans Are Americans, Too." That poster is floating around the Web somewhere.

    If you're going to turn me over on a spit for my opinion, make sure you do it in a civil manner.

    [flamesuit_off]
    Last edited by Betty; April 21st, 2005 at 07:42 PM. Reason: tense error
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa


  2. #17
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    Thumbs up Addition:

    Flag Etiquette is something that we do voluntarily out of respect for the flag & what it represents. Notice that the penalty for violating Flag Etiquette is not death by stoning or the firing squad.
    Absolutely the most common flag error is to fly the flag Day & Night sans night time illumination.
    I would not correct a Veteran for a flag error.
    If an American Soldier was willing to die for it than he/she sure can make a boo~boo with it as far as I'm concerned.
    I believe that most people if they have the correct information available will treat the flag properly.
    Burn the flag in front of me & I will sure try hard to help you creatively douse that flame in a real big hurry. Enough said about that.
    Concerning wearing and burning the flag PROBABLY the very best & most effective protest would be to do both at exactly the same time.
    Burn it while you're wearing it. I won't stop any protester that wants to do that. That would be one heckofa major protest!
    Last edited by QKShooter; April 21st, 2005 at 08:30 PM. Reason: delete signature

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prospector
    I still get goose bumps at the sound of our anthem....damned proud of our country faults and all, and I show the utmost respect for our colors!
    Actually (like Betty, putting on a flame suit), our anthem is one of the things I wish we would change. while the words are nice the tune is from an old English drinking song........ We could do better!

    Having said that, it also really pi$$e$ me off that everyone that sings it seems to think that they can rearrange anyway they want. people scream to make laws against burning the flag, bur are afraid to tell "stars" to sing the anthem right!!

    (off soapbox and out of flame suit.)
    Rick

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  4. #19
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    After the "war",in the late 70's,I did a tour of duty as a SERE (Survival-Evasion-Resistance-Escape) school instructor. One day we had a lecture/briefing by an ex-POW. He spent almost 6 years in the Hanoi Hilton. He was then a US Navy Commander. Part of his story was how after almost 3 1/2 years in solitary he was allowed to spend brief periods of time with several of the other prisioners. They started saving/collecting/scrounging very small bits and pieces of red,white,and blue material to be used to make some resemblence of an American flag. It took 4 of the POW's over two years to collect enough material to weave together a 3"X4" flag. The POW's had to keep this little flag hidden from their captors or they would be severely beaten if not killed. The POW's would litterly guard the flag with their life. When they were allowed to get together they very quietly would put the little flag up on their bunk,stand at attention, and sallute the flag. They would also very quietly,say the Pledge of Allegiance. The Commander told us that if they would have been caught doing any of these things they would be "very sevearly punished". When they were made to go back to their individual cells they would take turns taking the little flag back with them. This was their"symbol of the country that they had given their lives for" and they guarded the flag with their lives. The flag finally got so old and rotted that it just fell to pieces but the Commander had made another one, similar to the origional, when he was finally freed,toward the end of the "war". He said that"when I was freed and came back to the states I couldn't stop thinking of that flag and just had to make me another one just because I now freely could." After the briefing/lecture we all made it a point to go up to him and thank him for his patronage to our country. I shook his hand so hard and so long that I got strange looks from the other sailors that were there. I felt self concious but he said"don't worry son,people do that all the time".After which I gave him the very best salute that I had ever given a superior officer. I will never forget that man or how he made me feel. This is just part of what the American flag means to me.------

  5. #20
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    Betty, you're absolutely right, as usual.

    I would not correct a Veteran for a flag error.
    If an American Soldier was willing to die for it than he/she sure can make a boo~boo with it as far as I'm concerned.
    Ya know, normally, I feel the same way. However, my comment to my former boss was originally dropped in a "suggestion box", with the intent to address a possible oversight. As a Security post for the community we served, I felt it was our duty to fly the flag in a correct manner. By flying the flag incorrectly, my boss cast his etiquette upon every person in the department, and I frequently was questioned about it by WW2/vietnam vets. If a private person wants to fly/wear/burn/urinate on/mulch or drag the flag, that's his or her choice. One I can take offense to. But, they have the right. I get upset when a governmental or "professional" agency disregards flag simply out of lack of caring.
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  6. #21
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    My mother is probably the biggest American patriot I know. My parents met in the Viet Nam war; mom was a rice farmer who went to Saigon (and it'll always be Saigon, not Ho Chi Minh City) and worked for the American army there, doing laundry. And that's how she met dad - doing his laundry. She still does his laundry.

    Pro-Communists would literally spit on my mother's family over there because mom worked with the Americans. Grandma, being a tough old lady, told them where to stick it.

    Mom loves her American flags. Mom still has the little American flag on it's plastic stand that she received when she became a U.S. citizen. She's counter-cross stitched the American flag several times, and saves her flags. Even if it's old and tattered and supposed to be burned, she won't burn it. She'll still save it, because to her, it's not disrespectful, it's important enough to be saved. It seems like every time she sees a T-shirt with an American flag on it, she buys it. She gave me an American flag bandana. During Desert Storm she made flag pins and yellow ribbons for people. I think she's even crocheted a few. If there's one person happy to be in the U.S., it's her.

    ***

    Always remember those who fought and those who died to give us the right to enjoy, or destroy, our Flag.

    ***

    And speaking of the anthem, I'll never forget Roseanne Barr's rendition during a baseball game. While she was exercising her freedom to sing as she pleases, she forgot good taste and class.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  7. #22
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle
    Actually (like Betty, putting on a flame suit), our anthem is one of the things I wish we would change. while the words are nice the tune is from an old English drinking song........ We could do better!
    I'll take your word for it, but I'll bet the pub didn't stay in business long if that's all they sang to ....probably a lot of gospel music there too!!

    The thing about flag desecration is that if nobody cared about it, then the A-holes that do such things would just find something else to do that they know would get folks riled....that's the character of an A-hole.

  8. #23
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    I am saddened by many of the things I have seen done with and to our flag as many of you have indicated, but Betty is right. You have the right to do it. That right was bought and paid for with the blood of alot of heroes over the years and will continue for many more to come. I can forgive alot of the transgressions against the flag by well meaning people. To me, it's mostly their intent that I will agree or disagree with. Like Fjolnirsson, once someone has the infraction pointed out to them, in my opinion it is direspectful to the flag to purposely ignore the proper method of display.

    Flag ceremonies are one of the few things that will put goosebumps on me and bring a tear to my eye. That and, for some strange reason, bagpipes. I still haven't figured that out....
    Last edited by Bumper; April 22nd, 2005 at 03:20 AM. Reason: Added Bold to "well meaning" (read not flag burners)
    Bumper
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  9. #24
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    Betty ~ Bumper

    Betty ~ That's a great and interesting family history. I'm glad that you posted it here. We are all here from someplace else. Actually, even the Native Americans were originally from someplace else & the folks on the Mayflower didn't evolve out of the ocean either.
    We are a nation made great by "Someplace Else People" who came here & worked hard.
    Some of our past & even recent history has not been that great. But, we keep on plugging along.
    Many people who live here were handed that flag when the folks that they loved most ceased to exist for this country.
    Why anyone would want to burn the flag and auto~offend the majority of Americans with the hope that act will somehow further their agenda is beyond my comprehension.
    Oh Well, plenty of things in this world I don't understand.
    If I ever see a flag burning protest on TV I just change the channel. I honestly don't even want to know what is bothering those people because I don't agree with their method of operation & so they don't warrant even one-second of my time...let alone my attempt at understanding their gripe. That is just me though.
    My views of spitting on other people (for any reason) hopefully are obvious.
    It is one of the vilest human expressions. It would take a lot of inner strength to endure that.
    My personal position on any person that calls themselves an American is one of friendly passive coexistence & that is regardless of their original or ethnic origin. Though I don't like anybody to be uninvitingly overly intrusive into my personal space.
    I am obviously not as OK with people destroying the flag to prove a point but, I sure am not going to put on the gloves and box it out with you or Bumper.
    That would accomplish nothing & it has never been that important to me that everybody always agree with my position on everything anyway.
    I just put my personal opinion "out there" and folks can agree or disagree & I don't like them any more or any less for it.
    Because I really don't ask anything from anybody or expect anything from anybody or accept anything free from anybody or need anything from anybody. So whatever floats their respective boat is usually quite O~Kee~Doke~Kee with me.
    I might have a tough time w/ somebody burning an American Flag under my nose though. The smell of the smoke from a burning flag might have an ill effect on me. It's never happened yet so I honestly can't say.
    I sort of associate the image of it with dragging the bodies of dead young American Soldiers through the streets.
    To me an American Citizen burning the flag is saying:
    "I'm living here & I hate and despise America and everything it stands for so much that I'm willing to selfishly offend other good Americans & defame the memory of dead United States Soldiers and destroy the symbol of the USA to help call some pathetic attention to my own personal grievance."
    That is sort of what that action reads like to me.
    Takes all kinds to make the world go 'round I guess.

  10. #25
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    The Banner Yet Waves

    The Banner Yet Waves


    Children have crayoned it on paper with too few stars and too many stripes as their first notion on nationhood.

    Prisoners of war have secretly fashioned it from scraps and rags as the center of their hope and defiance.

    Mothers and widows have kept it carefully folded as a reminder of honor and sacrifice.

    With pomp of arms, Marines raise it over embassies and consulates from Argentina to Zimbabwe.

    With no ceremony at all, janitors raise it over elementary schools and town halls from Maine to Oregon.

    Blurred like a hummingbird wing, it flies from the aerial of a speeding pickup truck in western Texas.

    Still as a painting, it hangs in the humid night air as the national anthem echoes over 40,000 fans at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium.

    It is sewn on the uniform of the policeman in an Ohio town. It is printed on the T-shirt of a young woman roller-skating by a California beach.

    It flutters beside a tombstone in a rural Pennsylvania graveyard because someone remembered. It hangs soaked in the rain on a Wisconsin porch because someone forgot.

    Tacked to a broken two-by-four in a tornado-devastated Iowa trailer park, it says with feisty hope, “We’re still here.”

    It flies over battleships …. And over car dealerships.

    It stands by pulpits. And hangs over bars.

    It has been used, and abused, to tout waterbeds and soft ice cream, drugstores and amusement parks.

    It has been worn threadbare by the rhetoric of politicians, but somehow the American flag, “Old Glory,” has never become a cliché’.

    Ask the man on the street what’s in the Constitution and you’ll probably get embarrassing brevity, or silence. But Americans have an intuition about the document, and the focus of that intuition is the flag.

    It triggers within them the deepest feelings about a place where breadlines, prison camps and tanks in the town square are NOT the general order of things. The flag signals to them a phenomenon of history that protects them from indignities, permits them peace, draws refugees with priceless hope, offers help with boundless heart, and earnestly seeks to correct its own problems.

    Americans are often nonchalant about their freedom. But yes, the postmistress in the little village may offer up a prayer about her country as she hauls down the flag in the evening. And yes, aging veterans do shed a tear when the flag goes by on Memorial Day. And yes, the baseball fan anxious for the game to start gets a lump in his throat when he turns toward the Star Spangled Banner to sing, “Oh, say, can you see……..” Cynics will never understand why their charges of “flag waving” only bewilder, amuse or insult the average citizen.

    While Americans know that behind this rectangle of cloth there is blood and great sacrifice, there is also behind it an idea that redefined once and forever the meaning of hope and freedom. Lawyers and justices may debate the act of flag burning as freedom of expression. But a larger point is inarguable: when someone dishonors or desecrates the banner, it deeply offends, because the flag says all that needs to be said about things worth preserving, loving, defending, and dying for.

    When this country is attacked as it was on September 11, 2001, the people will rally around this rectangle of cloth in a way that is unheard of in any other part of the world. May God have mercy on those who have attacked America in such a cowardly manner, because we won’t.

    Americans are sending a message to terrorists the world over, and that message is:

    We’re coming and Hell is coming with us.
    Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences

    "I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
    ~George Patton

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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    To me an American Citizen burning the flag is saying:
    "I'm living here & I hate and despise America and everything it stands for so much that I'm willing to selfishly offend other good Americans & defame the memory of dead United States Soldiers and destroy the symbol of the USA to help call some pathetic attention to my own personal grievance."
    That is sort of what that action reads like to me.
    Takes all kinds to make the world go 'round I guess.
    Don't misunderstand what I said above. People that have little toothpicks with American flags on them are the type of "well meaning" people that I can forgive. Betty's Mom & Dad would not get a comment from me because, technically, they are displaying our flag wrong. It is their intent that is important. They love the flag, want to see it and display it and remember what it means to them. There is no way I could fault anyone for that.

    Flag burners and those that intentially desecrate our flag in some way are going to be at the top of my "list" and I may not be able to prevent myself in that situation from breaking the law. Burn the flag in front of me and I would probably justify it (to myself anyway) to whoop some ass. But, as acparmed said, the flag still waves. There are thousands that have died to protect your right to desecrate our flag. It doesn't mean that they would kick anyone's ass for trying.

    The only flag burning I have ever enjoyed seeing was the on a video where a group of Iraqi men burned it and caught themselves on fire. I must admit I enjoyed the irony of it.
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  12. #27
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    One other aspect on the "reverence" of our flag is that it is draped across the caskets of our present and former military men and women at funerals, then folded and presented in "honor" to the surviving family member. That one act, to me, is reason to hold any desecration in the highest of vulgarities.

    And I agree that our people have the "right" to desecrate it, and like others have stated, I can either agree or disagree with the "point" those people are attempting to get across....but I abhor the "method" they choose.

    That form of protest is one I cannot stand for.

  13. #28
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    Long May She Wave

    acparmed

    Excellent post. As a retired Navy veteran with one son in the Army doing his second tour in Iraq and one in the Marine Corp who did one tour in Iraq, I understand each and everyones view point.

    It is because of the very flag that is desicrated, the right comes to do so. I too, get upset when I see the flag displayed improperly. So much that I stop going to my childhood church when after it was pointed out they still continued to display it improperly.

    Eric C Baatz EM1(SS) USN Retired

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