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Careless and Disrespectful Display of the Flag**SECOND UPDATE** Login/Join 
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
posted
Topping the list of things that piss me right the fuck off.

Our town, like many towns since 9/11, displays the Flag of the United States up and down the main streets of the town. Initially, very pretty and inspiring.

Problem is, that's all they do. Hang 'em out there. They get weathered, tattered, torn, wrapped around the staff, hang by one eyelet or fall off completely and lay in the ditch.

Last Fall, I wrote a letter to the Town Selectmen (town council, New England style) and offered to be part of a solution. Utterly ignored.

I sent a copy to the local Veterans Committee (who have been after me to join). Crickets.

Just this morning, I picked up yet another flag laying in the ditch. I folded it respectfully and will take it back to the Town Office.

I also wrote a letter to the editor of the local fishwrapper. I expect it has a decent chance of getting published and perhaps a little public shaming will get them off their asses.

I didn't spend 22 years in the Navy to see my flag treated this way and I will NOT tolerate it.

***UPDATE***
Well, that got some action. They did publish my letter and I got an email from a member of the Veterans Committee last night. Unfortunately, the member that responded is a fellow Navy retiree that I've know for many years and he was quite pissy about it.

The gist of his note was they they WERE TOO doing something about it and I was remiss in not going down to the Town Office and digging through Selectmen's Meeting minutes to find out what it was.

It boils down to the idea that they got my letter, they're aware of my feelings, but between turnover at the Town Office (New Town Manager, mostly new office staff, couple of new Selectmen) and election of new officers in the Veterans Committee they haven't actually done anything concrete. Since January.

I replied saying that it was unfortunate if they were embarrassed by my letter, but I had absolutely no feedback from anyone that my letter had even been received, much less acted upon.

He said he'll be submitting a rebuttal to the paper which I suspect will be phrased so as to make me look like an asshole. That won't come as a surprise to anyone that knows me.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: PHPaul,




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11057 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm with you in your disappointment, and I'll add mine for the majority who don't stand or put their hand on their heart or remove their headgear as the flag passes by in the Veterans day parade.

That said, you may choose intolerance, but the first amendment ensures that others can do as they please in the name of their own free speech, offensive though it may be.

I'm pleased to see flag owners take down their flag at sunset, or put a light on it, and when my veteran elderly neighbor's flag mount failed and the flag fell, I repaired it before he knew it was broken. He said thanks, and passed shortly thereafter. The flag deserves every respect for what it stands, from us all.

It won't always get it, and those who dishonor it or neglect it are protected under the law, whether we like it, or not.
 
Posts: 2701 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am with you PH.

I was teaching at a small adult Ed technical facility a few years ago.

I went to the office to make some copies and the office girls were all in a tizzy.

Seems some guy came to the office window, for doing business and read them the riot act about the tattered flag that was flying at the school.

They were debating about calling the police on him because of the anger he showed.

Well in fact the guy was in my class and I knew he was a vet and had a few issues since returning. I did not tell them he has some issues, because I had no knowledge of that except through hearsay.

But I tried to get them to understand that to 99% of the people who have ever served, there is a correct way to respect and honor our flag and what it represents.
I also tried to convey how important that is to them/us.

A couple days later there was a new flag flying.

So, you comments are spot on Paul.


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Posts: 2343 | Location: Ohio | Registered: December 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Aquabird:
I am with you PH.

Seems some guy came to the office window, for doing business and read them the riot act about the tattered flag that was flying at the school.

They were debating about calling the police on him because of the anger he showed.

Well in fact the guy was in my class and I knew he was a vet and had a few issues since returning. I did not tell them he has some issues, because I had no knowledge of that except through hearsay.

But I tried to get them to understand that to 99% of the people who have ever served, there is a correct way to respect and honor our flag and what it represents.
I also tried to convey how important that is to them/us.

A couple days later there was a new flag flying.

...


What were his issues? Possibly that he, and a lot of his real good friends were taught respect for that piece of cloth. Possibly that he and a lot of his good friends did things that most humans can't or won't for that piece of cloth. Possibly that a few of his real good friends came home with that piece of cloth draped over them. And some clueless cake-eater got her panties in a bunch because she was getting a hip-pocket class on "have some respect" while her frappa-lappa-dappa-chino was getting cold.

To me, he had no issues. To me, he sounds like he was right. And like you said, there's a bunch of people out there who have zero idea on what that piece of cloth actually stands for, and what some have done, and given up for that piece of cloth.

Oh, while I'm at it, the SOB who decided that our Flag would look good as a pair of boxers or a shirt needs to be dragged out back and ghetto-whipped with a chunk of garden hose.


Yeah, sometimes that shit gets me a little worked up too...


_____________________________________________________________________

"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
 
Posts: 5307 | Location: Just moved: Downtown Chi-Town | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good on you, PH.


We have a President again. Thank God.
 
Posts: 1076 | Location: Between Rock & Hard Place (Pontiac & Detroit) | Registered: December 22, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I have not yet begun
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Why wait for the Town Selectmen to do anything? Tell them what you want to do and when it's going to be done if they can't get off their asses.
Get in touch with some local Boy Scouts, VFWs, etc. and have them just do it.
A fundraiser (if needed) for this should be a piece of cake to put together.


--------
After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
 
Posts: 2942 | Location: AZ - West side of the valley | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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quote:
Originally posted by KMitch200:
Why wait for the Town Selectmen to do anything? Tell them what you want to do and when it's going to be done if they can't get off their asses.
Get in touch with some local Boy Scouts, VFWs, etc. and have them just do it.
A fundraiser (if needed) for this should be a piece of cake to put together.


1. I offered to be part of a solution, I was ignored. The excuse the Town Clerk gave me when I bitched in person was that "some" of the flags are on private property and they couldn't do anything about that.

2. Town Officials are as useless as tits on a trout. I want to see if I can embarrass them into doing the right thing. If I take unilateral action, I have little doubt it'll come back to bite me on the ass, out of spite if nothing else. Last year, I had flags on both power poles on my property. Since bitching/writing, this year they skipped my place. Real adult of them, yes?

3. Depending on the reaction (if any) to the letter, I may see about putting together a "patrol" to check on and fix any problems with the flags. Ideally, the Veterans Committee should be involved.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11057 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I have not yet begun
to procrastinate
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Obviously you're dealing with high IQ folks there!

Usually when someone doesn't just bitch but offers to be part of the solution, the others sit up and listen.


--------
After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
 
Posts: 2942 | Location: AZ - West side of the valley | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spectemur Agendo
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Last week a woman in my town pulled a flag from a bunch of trash that someone had left on the curb, and she turned it in to the local American Legion for proper disposal. People were talking about how the Legion or Boy Scouts will take flags and do a burning ceremony.

I like the idea of showing such respect, but I'm wondering if it's still a good idea to burn the flags these days since they are made with synthetic materials now rather than just cotton. How many burning ceremonies of breathing in toxic fumes would it take to start affecting your health?




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Posts: 16882 | Location: IA | Registered: May 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bre

I appreciate your concern.

I’m a vice commander of our local American Legion Post here. At this Post we have that concern as well. With that being said, we will typically only burn the non-synthetic flags during our public ceremonies. The Synthetic flags are burned in a more private setting where we are better able to avoid breathing the smoke.




“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
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The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of my employer.
 
Posts: 5707 | Location: Near the Beaverdam in VA | Registered: February 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^ Good to know; thank you.




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Posts: 16882 | Location: IA | Registered: May 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am in and out of a lot of Ace Hardware stores -- I am a supplier to a bunch of them.

Every Ace in this area has a box to receive worn flags, for respectful disposal. I don't know what the disposition is, I'll try to remember to ask tomorrow when I'm in some of the stores.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 19127 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I might have posted this before and if so, I apologize...

There was a kid that attended my daughter's school. I believe the kid was a "2nd year senior" and he drove himself a nice shiny, lifted F-250 and had a large American flag mounted in the bed on a pole. While I admired his patriotism, if that's what it was and not watching one too many monster jam videos, the flag was in tatters from blowing around at 50mph and looked horrible.

I finally sent an mail to the school asking them if they were aware that this truck with its beat up flag was parked in their front lot every day and did they teach kids respect for said flag....a few days later it was gone so apparently message received
 
Posts: 3563 | Location: Peoria, AZ | Registered: November 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The local American Legion post are the town's flag nazis (a good thing). They remind businesses of proper flag etiquette. They also have placed PVC pipes buried all around town (with the town's blessing). On any holiday that calls for display of the flag (Flag Day, Veterans' Day, and other holidays) they bring out about 100 flags on poles and stick them in the PVC pipes all over town. They do this very early morning, so the display is up for all traffic to see all day. It is a beautiful sight to see.
 
 
Posts: 8402 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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quote:
Originally posted by RichardC:
What is the official guide to proper display of the American flag?


Public Law 94-344. known as the Federal Flag Code




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11057 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I frequently drive by something similar. This is on a road between two small towns a ways east of Issaquah, and the flags are permanently mounted and get rained on, are fading, and get muddy runoff from the hill above the retaining wall they're hung from.



Ridiculous. Here's a story about it, the gist is that someone bitched to the dept of roads that it be taken down, a bunch got put back up in a show of .. respect? You decide.




I hate offended people. They come in two flavours - huffy and whiny - and it's hard to know which is worst. The huffy ones are self-important, narcissistic authoritarians in love with the sound of their own booming disapproval, while the whiny, sparrowlike ones are so annoying and sickly and ill-equipped for life on Earth you just want to smack them round the head until they stop crying and grow up.
- Charlie Brooker
 
Posts: 535 | Location: Sammamish, WA | Registered: May 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Telecom Ronin
Picture of dewhorse
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quote:
Originally posted by brecaidra:
Last week a woman in my town pulled a flag from a bunch of trash that someone had left on the curb, and she turned it in to the local American Legion for proper disposal. People were talking about how the Legion or Boy Scouts will take flags and do a burning ceremony.

I like the idea of showing such respect, but I'm wondering if it's still a good idea to burn the flags these days since they are made with synthetic materials now rather than just cotton. How many burning ceremonies of breathing in toxic fumes would it take to start affecting your health?


Not sure about fumes but I recently disposed of my backyard flag...cutting the in length wise burning and then burying it....it was a pain to burn as it was nylon.....gas helped. Again not sure of the fumes....maybe in a large pile it might be bad...

call it a pet peeve...recently I was in a Lowes and a flag was sitting on a display ..partially on the floor...I folded it, kinda felt silly but I could not walk away and just leave it. After doing honor detail at many funerals it's just 2nd nature

FYI
The small solar spot lights are great, the neighborhood likes to put flags in their yards on holiday....the small solar spot works great for this....I cannot leave a flag without a light

Funny story, when we built out GSM in St. Louis around 1999 we had over 50 flagpoles we built, no one took into consideration actually servicing the lights and flags...cost us a pretty penny after the flood of complaints about lights being out and flags not being lowered ......
 
Posts: 6843 | Location: Back in DFW ....hopefully to stay | Registered: February 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of heisrizn
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quote:
Originally posted by PHPaul:
Topping the list of things that piss me right the fuck off.

Our town, like many towns since 9/11, displays the Flag of the United States up and down the main streets of the town. Initially, very pretty and inspiring.

Problem is, that's all they do. Hang 'em out there. They get weathered, tattered, torn, wrapped around the staff, hang by one eyelet or fall off completely and lay in the ditch.

Last Fall, I wrote a letter to the Town Selectmen (town council, New England style) and offered to be part of a solution. Utterly ignored.

I sent a copy to the local Veterans Committee (who have been after me to join). Crickets.

Just this morning, I picked up yet another flag laying in the ditch. I folded it respectfully and will take it back to the Town Office.

I also wrote a letter to the editor of the local fishwrapper. I expect it has a decent chance of getting published and perhaps a little public shaming will get them off their asses.

I didn't spend 22 years in the Navy to see my flag treated this way and I will NOT tolerate it.


First, thank you for your service, and I mean it.

Second, my recommendation: Use social media for this. Unfortunately writing letters only involves you and the recipient, who's not accountable to anyone for a response. Post this all over your local government FB pages and Instagram all the while tagging veterans organizations. You'll see lightning fast movement.


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Posts: 1363 | Location: Fayetteville, NC | Registered: April 05, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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bump for update




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11057 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe on the agenda at the Selectmen's Meeting?

Bring a cheerleading squad?




"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
 
Posts: 38494 | Location: fl | Registered: December 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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