Sanctity of the Flag

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paladin
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Sanctity of the Flag

Postby paladin » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:57 am

The latest celebrity dust up with Kaley Cuoco Instagramming her cute pups sitting atop an American flag (or throw, or towel, whatever it was-- it was a definitely the image of USA flag) brings to light an issue I believe all of us are passionate about...the sanctity of Old Glory. The girl had no ill intent in her heart, IMHO-- matter of fact she may have thought it was a very patriotic display. She sure knew no better, and that is the crux of the problem I'd like to open up for discussion.

I am angered by the proliferation of USA flags on all manner of consumer goods. Towels, sheets, underwear, seats of lawn furniture, shoes, and a plethora of other highly undesirable places for the Flag, or it's image to be represented upon. Placements such as these invite abject disrespect and misuse by their very nature.

I likewise go so far as to personally boycott any T-shirt or cap with our Flag represented. This is an extreme position, but I believe there is high potential there for inadvertent abuse-- such as laying your USA flag cap on the ground, or taking off your shirt and tossing it in the hamper. I'm not a big fan of stickers for the same reason that it may open up the avenue of abuse to the Flag. And don't get me started on the little plastic, handheld "flags" handed out at parades that are "Made in China!" :mad:

Somewhere along the line we've lost our way...Concessions have been made towards our Flag's use <misuse> to get items sold and expand commercial ventures. When I was a boy I wanted a flag pole in our yard really badly. My Dad <a WWII Army Air Corp Vet> put the kibosh on that idea because he said flying an American Flag was a huge responsibility for a kid. And since he couldn't be home every day, he didn't want to risk me slacking my duties and bring dishonor upon our Flag, our Nation, our Neighborhood, and by extension, our own Family. He proceeded then to explain for me the fact that the Sun would never be allowed to set on it, it couldn't be left out in the rain, it must never touch the ground, once we started flying it we needed to keep it's display regular...and so on. It made a huge impression on me.

But now, all-weather flags designed to be out in all kinds of elements and flags with spotlights illuminating them at night are everywhere you travel and they never come down. I have mixed emotions about these....On one hand, I like the idea that even nature itself can't restrain our Country, but on the other I revert back to my Dad's training about disrespect of the Flag. I'm of two minds on this issue.

I value you guys' opinions about a whole host of subjects and the boards here are a priceless repository of wisdom < translation: lots of old farts who think like I do hang out here ;) :p >....

And if it's not 110% evident by now, I am against any USA flag or depiction thereof being used on anything other than an actual flag designed for a flag pole. I'm not against LEO's, government officials, and soldiers wearing appropriate badges or patches with our Flag.

I realize I'm at an extreme end of the spectrum, probably.

so I'd like to hear what your opinions are about the subject of:

Displaying Our Flag!

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby SpyderNut » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:21 am

I agree with you, Paladin. In fact, I just made a comment to my wife over this past weekend (July 4th) regarding the number of folks (men and women both) around our lake who were wearing bathing suits depicting the American flag. I mean, should there be a bikini made from the Flag? This is just in poor taste, IMO. Granted, I imagine that these folks also do not have any ill intent in their hearts, but it is still sadly disturbing to see how commercialism has inched its way into our patriotic values. :(
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby bearfacedkiller » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:28 am

I agree with what you said for the most part. I was a Boy Scout and we were taught to strictly obey the flag rules. We were very particular about people folding them the correct way and proper flag folding was something you learned right away. The only thing we aren't totally on the same page with is the night time thing. I have an all weather flag and a light shining on it. I like flying old glory all day and all night.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby The Deacon » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:35 am

Have no clue who Kaley Cuoco is. As for the rest, about all I can say without getting overly political is that the only flags I display these days are the Gadsden Flag and the South Carolina Naval Jack.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:46 am

You should see how most British feel about it when people wear or display their flag inappropriately. A lot of Americans like to hide behind free speech in order to disrespect and disparage anything and everyone they like. When I was growing up we would not dare do such things with the American flag. A lot of ex-military will know how I feel about such things. I think if people do not want to respect our flag, the symbol of our nation, they they need to find another place to live.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby Blerv » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:59 am

IMHO, if I don't respect the person doing the defiling it's hard to take the act in offense.

If the Queen of England had a Zippo in one hand and a middle finger up on her Instagram it would be different. What the Beib's does and his lesser-famous nobodies...not going to raise my blood pressure one tick.

Not trying to be apathetic; just trying to curb my stress, it's a killer! I pay my taxes and follow the laws. I doubt internet celebs pay much money for their monetized Youtube accounts. It's our patriotic duty not to die early! :D Jk

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby wrdwrght » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:06 pm

The more American flags you display, the more American you are, right? Funny how one American can be more American than another.

EDIT: I have flown the American flag on the front of my house since 2001 as a mark of respect for service members who continue to put it on the line. I wish the same had been done for me and my brothers when we were in Vietnam.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby paladin » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:10 pm

Blerv wrote:If the Queen of England had a Zippo in one hand and a middle finger up on her Instagram it would be different. What the Beib's does and his lesser-famous nobodies...not going to raise my blood pressure one tick.

Not trying to be apathetic; just trying to curb my stress, it's a killer! I pay my taxes and follow the laws. I doubt internet celebs pay much money for their monetized Youtube accounts. It's our patriotic duty not to die early! :D Jk
I follow you Blerv, and understand your reasoning. But I can't help but get that visceral, gut reaction even if they are ignoramuses.
wrdwrght wrote:The more American flags you display, the more American you are, right? Funny how one American can be more American than another.
And yes, it is equally disturbing when someone displays an over-enthusiasm...at first blush my first reaction to such a display is a feeling of insincerity on behalf of the "patriot" but it's impossible most times to judge what's in a person's heart, still--I'm trying to be open here-- it rings hollow most the time for me.

Brings to mind an example of Roy Rogers once wearing an American Flag getup type cowboy outfit and 99.9% of people who saw him sporting it thought it was appropriate and furthermore thought it was the epitome of Americanism.

Around the same time, Jimi Hendrix and Abby Hoffman had American flag themed outfits and a lot of citizens were repulsed.

My position is illustrated by the fact that I personally think BOTH were inappropriate display of our flag.

And perhaps I'm being overly-nostalgic about what I THOUGHT the culture was like in my day. But, I can distinctly remember the American Legion coming to speak to our Elementary School every year at the beginning of the year and the Veterans going over any questions we had about the Flag and the Pledge. The teachers could have done the same thing, but the Vets added gravitas. I took it seriously. But I was a simple boy from a little town in Tennessee and I grew to be a simple man and I <self-admittedly> deal in absolutes way too often. However, having said that, of all the things a person could be justified in holding to "absolutes" in America, flag display and decorum should be one of those simple, black/white issues, iMHO.

It really boils down to...Is it important, or isn't it?

If it is important, let's educate the kids to do it right...but if it's not important, well, we might be experiencing what that's like now...what do you think?

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby Sully » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:58 pm

Paladin, the respect you're speaking of really rings true to my patriotic sensibilities. I don't need to wear an American flag on my clothing to be a proud American, so I just never do. I agree flag wearing has gotten somewhat out-of-hand, although almost always well-meaning, I imagine.

Recently, however, I came across an anomaly to my strict thinking and would be curious to know your opinion(s). Tidal New York makes flip flops right near my hometown, !00% American made. Their #1 seller depicts an artist's design based on the American flag. At first I thought "no way would I WALK on our flag!" Learned more and more about the company and started to shift my thinking to "I should proudly STAND with America." Now I go back and forth. Not so into anything between my toes, but that's preference is really immaterial for the question I'm posing. And, yes, there are many other non-flag styles to choose.


Here is Tidal's story, in their own words, followed by a photo of a veteran/employee showing of his favorite style:

We founded Tidal New York upon the simple idea that in order to make better flip flops, it needed to be done domestically. Having grown up around the footwear business, we have seen American factories shutter one by one. By the time we entered the business, production had all but vanished from the American landscape. Now is the time to turn the tide.

We built our Homegrown For Good factory in New York to prove that America can once again become a player in footwear manufacturing. Seeing flip flops as t-shirts for your feet, we partnered with amazing licenses that represent some of the best of American culture and pioneered a new, high resolution printing process in order to bring these cultural icons to vivid life. Our materials are all domestically sourced to ensure a level of quality that is second to none.

But, Tidal New York stands for more than just a great product. We are committed to hiring veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces to lead our team and have partnered with Heroes in Transition, to whom we donate a portion of the sale of every pair of Tidal New York flip flops. It's this idea of bettering the lives of those who have protected our right to pursue our dreams that drives Tidal New York.

Together we can make a difference. Together we can Be Tidal.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby paladin » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:54 pm

Thanks Sully...I'm glad this has made some of us "think"-- that was my intent. That, plus garner some wisdom from folks I trust to not get butt hurt over good honest discourse.

Here again, is one of those "double-minded" things that cause existential, yet real, pain in my life! :mad:

The story of Tidal New York is great and the tip-top of what it means to be proud of Our Country- so I get it and TOTALLY support their efforts. Just like the way I get a bit bigger bump in pride of ownership from Golden models. :) :spyder: :)

BUT...

I personally couldn't wear those. It's runs counter to the way I was raised. Please, it's not an indictment of you or anyone else who earns an honest living making those.

It would be easier on me if that type of Flag usage was not allowed, be it by law, or self-regulated by one's own conscience and training.

The problem, as I see it (and I recognize it may only be ME with this problem) is I'd like to see a generation of people who were raised up from infancy to NOT EVEN CONTEMPLATE putting the Stars & Stripes on shoes! That celebrity with her pup on Instagram had good intentions, but they were misplaced. It's the same for this company and all others like them who commercially process images of the Flag for sale for such uses and then justify it with patriotic bylines. How are we even to believe if this is their true motivation or not? I resent even having to contemplate such.

I don't care what other cultures think of ours, necessarily. But showing someone the bottom of your foot, or hitting them with your shoe is an insult of the highest order in many, many cultures. Remember W. dodging that shoe that was thrown at him in that press conference? hahaha Also recall all the images of liberated Iraqis hitting Saddam's statue in the face with the soles of their shoes.

I see Our Nation hamstrung between respecting the flag and making profits. And it's as if some want to use one to justify the other. To me the two MUST BE mutually exclusive. I don't even want a company making American flag flip flops where 110% of profits go to the American Legion.

I recognize the best form of protest I have is to vote with my $$$$, and that's heartbreaking because I want to support Tidal New York's ventures...so I just won't buy the flip flops. I have hope they might get the message. :)

good post, Sully! :D

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby Blerv » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:09 pm

paladin wrote:
Blerv wrote:If the Queen of England had a Zippo in one hand and a middle finger up on her Instagram it would be different. What the Beib's does and his lesser-famous nobodies...not going to raise my blood pressure one tick.

Not trying to be apathetic; just trying to curb my stress, it's a killer! I pay my taxes and follow the laws. I doubt internet celebs pay much money for their monetized Youtube accounts. It's our patriotic duty not to die early! :D Jk
I follow you Blerv, and understand your reasoning. But I can't help but get that visceral, gut reaction even if they are ignoramuses.

I understand completely :).

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby Sully » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:12 pm

paladin wrote:
----


BUT...

I personally couldn't wear those. It's runs counter to the way I was raised. Please, it's not an indictment of you or anyone else who earns an honest living making those.

It would be easier on me if that type of Flag usage was not allowed, be it by law, or self-regulated by one's own conscience and training.

-----

I recognize the best form of protest I have is to vote with my $$$$, and that's heartbreaking because I want to support Tidal New York's ventures...so I just won't buy the flip flops. I have hope they might get the message. :)

good post, Sully! :D

Hey Paladin, I do agree with the bulk of your sincere flag-respecting patriotic premise. I do not take any of your opinions as indictments. However, I want to be clear I have no connection to Tidal New York, other than respecting a hometown company's commitment to always making a 100% American-made quality product and hiring veterans in leadership roles.....and funding Heroes in Transition.

I am compelled to make this point: If the artistic USA flag-based design Tidal uses in just one of their many designs was not allowed "by law" this would not be the freedom defending nation I know and love. (I assume we're in agreement on that, though.)

The flag-based artistic design is not for everyone. (Truth be told, I did not buy them. Chose a different design as a gift.) But I do believe Tidal having them as an option is no reason to protest, in any way, a company with a good measure of altruism built into their profit-seeking business model.

The focus here is not flip flops, though. I just wanted to clarify myself a bit, thanks for your patience. I really appreciate the larger discussion, as the American flag does represent so much to so many of us.

Also agree with your point about Golden-made Spydercos; they cut just a bit deeper with me too.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby The Deacon » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:05 am

Some things seem easy and obvious, but it's mostly an illusion. Stepping on the flag seems wrong, so it's easy to say American flag flip flops are wrong, how about shoes that have one on the innersole to show they're "Made in the USA"? On the one hand, the flip flops are more obvious. On the other, unlike the label in the shoes, the flip flops don't actually depict the American flag, they just evoke a mental image of it using a few stars and stripes. Where does one draw the line with that? How many stars? How many stripes? Is this Kiwi "offensive"?
Image If you say yes, you're ignoring the fact that it could also be a depiction of the Puerto Rican or Liberian flag. If you say no, but find other items that show something that may, or may not, be a partial representation of the American flag offensive, then why not?

Saying that it's ok for members of specific groups to wear the flag on a "morale patch" or pin seems to imply that it's not ok for other folks to do so. Can't say I agree with that.

Where do you stand on American flag postage stamps? How about license plates? I know South Carolina offers 3 different specialty plates showing the flag that are available to anyone and a larger number that are only available to members of certain groups, am sure there are other states that offer at least one.

Next comes the question of which flag, or flags are "off limits". Just the 50 star version? Any with stars and stripes? What about earlier ones, like the Moultrie flag?

How about groups that "co-op" the flag to promote their own agendas, black & white flags? rainbow striped flags?

Where do you stand on using it as an avatar?

The uncomfortable fact is that those who fought and died for the flag also fought and died for the freedom to disrespect it.

As for me, the only thing I find truly offensive is when politicians who have no respect for the Constitution are pictured with the American flag.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby tvenuto » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:04 am

I'm with blev on this one: I only have so much I can care about. I do feel that "turning the flag into a garment" like below is against the guidelines one should follow with the flag.

Image

However, I do think that, especially in this case, the intent is 99/100ths of the crime. The guy who wears the above tank top--apart from affirming the abysmal depths we've plumbed in dress code--is no doubt showing his pride in America. Walking on those strange flag flipflops is 100% different than stomping on the flag in a demonstration. It's just another example of how the social mores have become less rigid, as has been discussed previously.

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby bh49 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:11 am

paladin wrote:I am against any USA flag or depiction thereof being used on anything other than an actual flag designed for a flag pole. I'm not against LEO's, government officials, and soldiers wearing appropriate badges or patches with our Flag.
+1
paladin wrote: I realize I'm at an extreme end of the spectrum, probably.
I do not see anything extreme here
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby paladin » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:22 am

The Deacon wrote:Some things seem easy and obvious, but it's mostly an illusion....

Saying that it's ok for members of specific groups to wear the flag on a "morale patch" or pin seems to imply that it's not ok for other folks to do so. Can't say I agree with that.

Where do you stand on American flag postage stamps? How about license plates? I know South Carolina offers 3 different specialty plates showing the flag that are available to anyone and a larger number that are only available to members of certain groups, am sure there are other states that offer at least one.

The uncomfortable fact is that those who fought and died for the flag also fought and died for the freedom to disrespect it.
It IS a slippery slope -- and that's precisely one of the reasons I wanted to pose it to this forum, to see if I could get some help working through it.

As for specific groups having access to wearing flag patches/badges, I feel that's an easy call when they're a government/civic funded LEO or similar service group in the life saving/protecting business funded by tax dollars. All others are locked out from wearing. However, I'd be ok if NO ONE in any capacity could wear a flag also. It simplifies things.

As for which flag is off-limits, let's keep it simple...our current flag. Fully rendered in it's entirety in miniature or upscaled. If someone wants to go out of their way to make something that looks ultra realistic to skirt the "law", like 47 stars instead of 50, let em do so at their own peril of being non-compliant. Let a judge or jury decide intent and legality. If someone wants to burn a Bennington flag, let em.

My stand is clear on American flags anywhere else than on a flag pole or the afore mentioned groups...not allowed, no exceptions. Very absolute, but it helps with compliance and enforcement.

It is a fact that our citizens have died and are currently dying to ensure our freedom to disrespect Our Flag...but that don't make it right.

I own hard won freedom of speech, but it's taboo to stand up in a crowded movie theatre and yell at the top of my lungs "Active Shooter, Everyone head for the exits!!!" Not only is it taboo, but it's likely to get me arrested.

Now I'll reiterate and further explain--- I mainly started this thread for you guys to help me develop a tenable position on this issue. I say "I believe" many times in the posts, but that doesn't mean I can't / won't adjust my beliefs. I view it like exercise. I think it's good to have reasons for your beliefs. I want mental stamina! I won't go so far to say I'm trying to get you guys to "argue" for the sake of argument, but it gives me deeper insight into the way I and others think in a setting where it's safe to explore and experiment-- this forum. And thanks for that! :)

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby The Deacon » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:58 pm

paladin wrote:As for specific groups having access to wearing flag patches/badges, I feel that's an easy call when they're a government/civic funded LEO or similar service group in the life saving/protecting business funded by tax dollars. All others are locked out from wearing. However, I'd be ok if NO ONE in any capacity could wear a flag also. It simplifies things.

The first choice would suggest you feel that 99% of the folks who wore American flag pins after 9-11 were being disrespectful toward it. Frankly I'd find that kind of thinking more offensive than the idea of a couple dogs sitting on a flag, my neighbor flying one upside down, or even someone burning one. The second would certainly be closer to being fair, even better if taken one step further, to only allow those same groups to display the flag at all.

Which is why I tend to take the opposite view, that no symbol of anything is sacred. I have nothing but respect for those of my generation who fought and died in Viet Nam, but I have equal respect for those who burned flags to protest it and nothing but contempt for those who sent young men there to die.

The good news is, while each of us is entitled to be offended by whatever he or she decides to be offended by, the rest of us are free not to share that offense.
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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby tvenuto » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:42 pm

A thinly related anecdote on how some people feel about the flag:

My father went to the Coast Guard Academy, which is in Connecticut, and unsurprisingly on the water. He was a member of the crew that puts up and takes down the flag, and apparently it was a ridiculously windy day. When taking down the flag, there was a powerful gust and the crew lost control of the flag, which took off like a sail downwind. He sprinted after it and made a diving catch to get ahold of it, and in doing so prevented the flag from touching the ground. A senior officer who witnessed the event (and has the ability to hand out punishments) decided not to ding my dad for losing his hat and having a dirty uniform, because it was such a good catch.

The disclaimer here is that I heard this tale from my Dad himself, so who knows how it really happened.

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Re: Sanctity of the Flag

Postby paladin » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:29 pm

......


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