Maybe it's because my dad instilled such a patriotic feeling in me. Maybe it's because my husband is in the military. Maybe it's because I just know the "rules" and proper procedures. Maybe it's all of these reasons, but I hate to see an American Flag flown improperly.
Everyday when I drive back and forth to take Payton to school, I pass many businesses and homes that fly tattered flags. Flags with holes, tears, frays and rips. It hurts me to my heart.
I've stopped using certain businesses that have tattered flags and don't do anything about them. Currently, the Speedway on Gatriot near Martin has a flag that is ripped to shreds from being caught on their signage. I won't stop there until they fix it. It's still caught on the sign and has been for over a week. Even the flag outside the U.S. Post Office has a tattered flag!!! (Can't stop using the mail service though.)
I've gone so far as to call businesses before and remind them that it's noticeable to people and it does effect if I shop there or not. Back in November, I called a local business and asked for the owner, telling him how I felt. He apologized and later that day, the flag was down. Two weeks later, a new flag was on the pole. I called him back to tell him that I'd noticed and it meant a lot to me. He thanked me for reminding him what the flag meant and how it should be treated.
For Veteran's Day at Payton's school, we had our first official flag raising. It was a big "to-do" with lots of events. I organized the whole thing and it was worth all the work to hear the local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars talk about how to properly hold, handle, fold and dispose of the American flag.
This topic has been weighing on me lately. Maybe because I feel that while American has a country is under a lot of stress and there is a lot of anger, a tattered flag can represent how we really feel. But shouldn't we have enough pride to show that which represents our country in honor and all it's glory? As a sign of what we want to be and hope to be soon. I sure hope so. And I hope you do too.
For more information on how to properly handle or dispose of a flag, please click here.