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Let's respect our flag
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In Ohio, they’ve got a bunch of folks hopping mad because of a flagpole malfunction that was believed to have international overtones.
It’s true.
According to the Associated Press, the Hampton Inn in Springfield, Ohio has been getting nasty phone calls because it looked like it was flying an American flag at half staff, right after Osama bin Laden was killed.
But the hotel staff explained that they were in the process of taking down a worn flag so it could be replaced when the rope broke and the flag was stuck half way down the pole.
One caller threatened to cut the flagpole down.
People get testy in Springfield, apparently.
Of course these things happen when the flag is only accessed every year or so.
It was different in the days when flying an American flag at a business, school, hospital, public facility or home involved taking it in at night and putting it out in the morning — as if that would be too much effort for Americans today.
Let’s face it, in most cases it is not that big of a chore to raise and lower a flag, and it would be appropriate to get back to honoring it by retiring it at night.
But then there are a lot of flag etiquette rules that Americans tend to just ignore.
And now that we are into the patriotic season, from May into July, we will see our flag used for just about everything you can imagine.
It will appear on paper plates at barbecues, on T-shirts, on all sorts of sporting equipment.
It will be displayed on cars, in front of businesses and at houses.
However it is displayed, it should be done with honor.
It doesn’t matter if you are patriotic. If you allow an American flag to be torn to ribbons, hanging, dirty, from your front porch, you are showing disrespect to the symbol of our nation.
If you have a flag in filthy, tattered condition, attached to your car or truck antennae, it doesn’t matter what your feeling for the flag is, you are showing disrespect.
It’s wonderful that Americans are stirred by their flag, that we use it to help exhibit our love of country, but in the process we need to follow rules of etiquette that were designed to insure that our flag is treated with the respect it is due.
Displaying our banner with respect, treating it with honor, saluting it when it is presented in public, are all honors that are due our nation’s heritage of freedom, whether we are always happy with our sitting government or not.
Too great a price has been paid, and continues to be paid, for the liberty that we so often take for granted.
It costs us little to show respect for our national symbol.
There are enough places around the world where our flag is treated abhorrently with intent, let us not do likewise through neglect.
 — Chuck Smith