In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
No other topic gets be more nuts than stories I read about someone, somewhere, being deprived, banned or prohibited from flying the U.S. Flag. If I were Empress of the World, I would say to hell with every federal, state, county, city, township, homeowner’s association, school, ordinance, rule, provision, statute, or regulation that deprives, bans or prohibits anyone the right to display, carry or wear the U.S. Flag.
I am absolutely sick and tired of reading stories like those of a woman who wasn’t able to bring an American Flag to a planned Kiwanis Club meeting at an Olive Garden because it would be disruptive to the dining experience. Or when a hotel worker in Florida was fired because he wouldn’t remove a U.S. Flag pin from his lapel. Or when 13-year old Cody Alicea was told by his school that he couldn’t have an American Flag on his bicycle.
The latest story I read was about 75-year old Dawn Paulus of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, who lives in public housing who was told to remove three small American Flags she displayed on her balcony. According to Ms. Paulus, “he told me that I can’t have the Flags because of the Nazi flags. If I hung the American Flag up and someone hung a Nazi flag up they couldn’t tell them to take the Nazi flag down and still let me fly the American Flag.”
I say, “why the hell not”?
The American Flag is a symbol of our country. The Nazi Flag — or any other special interest Flag — is not. There is no special interest attached to the American Flag. It is a symbol of the freedom and liberties enjoyed by us all. The Nazi flag, the rainbow flag, individual states’ flag or any other flag are not.
A Vietnam vet who commented on the Paulus story said, “as a Vietnam Veteran I take a real offense when something like this hits the news. I am sure all Vets feel the same way. If we can’t fly our Flag without a problem then why did we fight in the wars if not to protect our rights as Americans.”
The Great Salt Lake couldn’t contain the amount of blood, sweat and tears that have been shed over the centuries by our men and women to establish and preserve our liberties and freedoms. Yet, does anyone even think about what exactly our Flag represents? How many hundreds of thousands of men and women have fought and died since the Revolutionary War? Countless. And what for?
There is either a complete disconnect, an apathy or indifference to what it all means or we’ve become a bunch of politically correct wussies without the guts to stand up to those who are somehow offended by our Flag? If you’re offended by the American Flag, then leave.
The Flag is a symbol under which we ALL live, not just a few of us. Not just the vast majority of us who enjoy and appreciate our lives in this magnificent country and what the Flag represents. But for even those who choose to deface this symbol of freedom — that right, by the way, ironically derived from the liberties the Flag represents.
To the school official who doesn’t want to rock the boat because there are some students who might be offended and wants to quiet racial tensions, “man up!” To those racially-tensed students, “I have no idea what your problem is but if you don’t like this country, you have the freedom to go elsewhere! Good riddance and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”
To the restaurateur who doesn’t want to disrupt dinner service, “put on your big girl panties and deal with it!”
To the Phillipsburg Housing Authority which doesn’t want to take a stand even though the United States government is probably subsidizing your project, “tell your tenants that no flags, other than the U.S. Flag, can be flown on the balconies or displayed in the apartment windows. End of story.”
And if any of you aren’t man enough to do it, move over, because I’ll be happy to … when I’m Empress of the World.
I don’t get it. Period.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com