Friday, February 26, 2010

National Pride - Random Events Come Together

On a blog I visit on an irregular basis, the blogger had posted commentary about an incident in a Maryland school that had caused them some inner conflict. Apparently a student refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and was not only dressed down harshly in front of the class by the teacher but dragged into the Principal's office.

Much hub bub ensued with the ACLU involved turning this local flare up into something more. The teacher was wrong. The school was wrong. Maryland law is quite clear about it.

The blogger understood the legality and agreed that the teacher and the school should apologize for what happened. But in their heart, felt the teacher had done the right thing. The Flag should never be disrespected but revered.

Naturally I had to put in my two cents worth. I said I saw no controversey. The student's rights had been violated. End of story.

Okay, so on another blog, Menopausal Stoners, I read an excellent piece by an admitted Lefty on the whacky-ness of the recent Tea Party phenomenon. In her piece, images of old folks wearing US Flag shirts were prominent. As she remembered the days when Hippies were castigated for their flag wear, she pointed out the obvious contradiction between then and now.

And then I remembered a house in the woods I saw on a ride last Sunday before I got sick. In front of this classic Maine shit box, a flag pole stood tall. From it's top a very sad and torn American Flag flew. It obviously had not been taken down in months, maybe years. I was reminded of rockets first glare and British storming Ft. McHenry. Only here in the woods of Maine, the only storming this house had seen was serious neglect.

American Flag purists have rules about how our flag is to be treated from when it comes out of the box right up to and including how to properly dispose of it. There are rules of when it should be flown. How it should be flown. And rules filling us in on what constitutes flag desecration. From what I have learned over the years, the old fart at the top decked out in the latest Tea Party wear is indeed desecrating the flag even as he prays to it.

Damn, I love this country. The contradictions, the idiocy, the absolute cluelessness of some of my fellow citizens somehow makes no dent. The boys who started this whole thing were indeed working some magic when they came up with our framework. For in spite of ourselves, somehow we continue to stumble on.

Note - Image poached from Meonpausal Stoners - Where she got it I haven't a clue.


Kulkuri said...

The ones that get me are those like the one you saw on your ride. They have a flag pole or hang a flag off the front of their house and never take it down until it is rags. None of them seem to know that the flag is supposed to be taken down at dusk unless there is a light shining on it so the flag is never flown in the dark. That and they'll probably just throw the old flag in the trash instead of burning it as that is the only way to properly dispose of an old flag.

Beach Bum said...

Down here in the heart of ignorant Dixie its the same, if not worse. I don't know the situation up north but down here the owners of car dealerships seem compelled to have literally massive American flags flying from the property.

All these massive flags prove is how stupid these guys are cause these big flags wear out real fast and they never remove or replace them like the rules say they should.

Hate to say it even further but patriotism may be a mile wide for most people in this country but everything I see suggests its only a couple of inches deep.

MRMacrum said...

Kulkiri - As a former Boy Scout, a former military school graduate, and the son of a career military man, I have had much education and training in the use and abuse of the American flag. Like you, the flag on the house bothered me the most. I hate that the flag has been turned into nothing more than a cheap prop for whatever cause or commercial interest one wants to use it for. But, and this is a big but, I will defend their right to display it any way they want.

Beach Bum - What an excellent comment - "....patriotism may be a mile wide for most people in this country but everything I see suggests its only a couple of inches deep."

sunshine said...

Great post and Beach's comment blew me away.

I always thought it was wrong to "wear" a flag too. I haven't said anything because I'm not American and it's not my place.

Here in Canada we aren't much for "Flag Waving".
We love our country though. Just like you do. :)


Randal Graves said...

It's a piece of cloth. If you want to wear that in place of a toga, be my guest.

If one hates American flags as clothing, one hates Apollo Creed which means one hates Sylvester Stallone which means one hates Italians. It's very logical.

BB, I'm afraid I'm going to have to report you to the South Carolina HUAC.

David Barber said...

The only time I've seen the Union Jack flag flying in England is on TV when something happens at Buckingham Palace. Probably pretty much the same the world over though. Although, if you go to the Spanish Costa (Benidorm) you will see that the Brits stand out a mile: with their Union Jack shorts and their Bbritish Bulldog tattoo's spelt wrong. But you wont find me there, I wear a thong and all my tattoo's are spelt correctly. ;-)

Demeur said...

I think if you're going to take the effort to fly the flag you should at least follow the etiquette.
As for myself I had considered flying it up sidedown when Bush got his scond term and I'm sure you know what that means.

Beach Bum said...

BB, I'm afraid I'm going to have to report you to the South Carolina HUAC.

Please! I'm looking for a reason for them to throw me out the country.

And believe it our not we still do have a type of un-American affairs committee here in the state legislature.

A Midnight Rider said...

He who has the biggest flag is the most patriotic according to the right.

PENolan said...

I got it from the NYTimes.

MRMacrum said...

sunshine - At least one of you Candians know your place. Us Murikans are the World's expert on Patriotic display ever since those damn Russkies got showed the door by the exalted and should of been king Ronald Reagan. Please kneel and pray. Oh, and take that damn hat off!

Randal, Randal, Randal - it's attitudes like yours that makes Cleveland the most miserable place in the Country to live. I am sure I won't have to report you to the HUAC. Seems I remember seeing your name near the top of the list.

David - Well next time show some national pride when you are in Spain blinding folks with your pasty Brit ass. Wear a thong with the Union Jack prominently displayed on your gundeck.

Demeur - When I need help, I usually call 911. But yeah, if someone wants to fly the flag, they really ought to show some class and do it right. To be perfectly honest, I think flags belong outside public buildings and not in my dooryard.

Beach Bum - Here in Maine we have a local version of the HUAC also. If you are ever up this way, be careful around any crusty old lobsta men and/or anyone wearing hunter orange. They are all spies for the machine up country in Auguster.

Midnight Rider - Jeez, I hope that 40x40 flag I tacked on the roof of the double wide when I couldn't find a Blue Tarp means I at least have a foot in the door.

PENolan - Thanks for the heads up and stopping by. I know you are an ex-pat Texan. I lived and worked out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area back in the 70s. Have a half brother and half sister living in the Republic as I write. No roots there, but some serious connections.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it