Sunday, June 03, 2012

A disconcerting sight -- initially

Whilst driving around Saturday morning discharging my weekend errands, I chanced by the Park Ridge VFW Hall. Those weren't barrels in the parking lot; they weren't barbecue grills. Maybe the receptacles were barrel shaped, but smaller. Flames were clearly visible over the tops; that's what first caught my attention.

But that didn't last, not when I saw what was being burned.

There were two or three flaming receptacles and two or three men at each -- and each man was handling an American flag.

They were burning American flags.

No, these were not the anti-NATO protesters taking over the veterans' hall for one final act of outrage.

These were older men, veterans all (I assume, given the venue), burning old and faded American flags because that is exactly what the Flag Code provides for the disposal of our nation's emblem.

Isn't that amazing? Burning the American flag is supposed to be the ultimate act of outrage and defiance -- but it's also the prescribed method for appropriately retiring a flag.

Burning a flag may be either an act of reverence or outrage, depending on the burner's intent. With flags, as with so much else in life, it's not what you do that's important, it's why you do it.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

we flew a flag in podunk all the time and we would drop them off at a vfw when they got faded or tattered for just this reason. sarge was very picky about having a pristine flag. and during the 2000 election he flew it upside down for distress!

smiles, bee