They’re all our kids

July 29, 2010

Which kid is yours?

Scouts at the Arena Show, Day 3, 2010 National Jamboree

Scouts at the Arena Show, Day 3, 2010 National Jamboree - "Scouts carry in American flags to start the opening arena show in Ft. A.P. Hill, Va., Tuesday July 27, 2010. Photo by Daniel Giles" (from Flickr stream)

All of them.


Don’t “dip” the American flag

August 14, 2009

So far I’ve been able to learn that Joe Bruni is a firefighter.  Beyond that, I don’t know much other than his YouTube series on flag etiquette is very good — not perfect, but very, very good.

In this episode he talks about carrying a flag.  I wish he’d discussed it in terms of a flag ceremony, but he gets the basics right.

Younger Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies and Bluebirds will have difficulty holding a large flag and pole vertical — get a flag harness to help them out (usually less than $25.00 at Scout supply shops).

He’s got a bunch of these.  I’ll pass them along as I get a chance to view them.

(Joe Bruni — who are you?)


Right wing flogs the flag: Old whine in old skins

November 2, 2007

Old hoaxes never die. Sometimes they don’t even fade away (making it certain that they are less honorable than any soldier).

Folding the flag by an Air Force color guard at Arlington National Cemetery; photo by Arlington National Cemetery

Folding the flag by an Air Force color guard at Arlington National Cemetery; photo by Arlington National Cemetery

The right wing whine machine is working up a dudgeon because National Cemeteries now have a policy against use of a flag- and history-insulting script that ascribes all sorts of hoakum to the simple folding of the American flag at funerals — a ceremony which is touching and sobering when done as a military color guard does it in silence, as they are trained.

A blog named headsup explains most of the issues, with a few links, at “Keep opinion to self.

Regular readers recognize the issue. Fillmore’s Bathtub explained how the discontinued ceremony butchered history, how some people clung to the old ceremony, and how the Air Force devised a more accurate ceremony to use if color guards are asked.

People who sow strife for a living never let facts get in the way of a good dudgeon.

Were this worthy of controversy, it should have been controversial months ago. The “folding ceremony” in contention was never official, and was rarely used. Do your own survey of veterans’ funerals to see; I have never heard of the ceremony actually used. We have the DFW National Cemetery within a few miles of our home. I regularly visit with veterans, and I have attended ceremonies myself. Don’t take my word for it.

Stick to the Flag Code and the Constitution, and no one will get hurt.

Michelle Malkin? Any other wacko commentators who don’t know the Flag Code? Get a clue. Remedial history is calling you. Please get off the soap boxes. Please quit using the U.S. flag to cover your gluteus maximii.

It’s time to stand up for accuracy, for real history, and for the law. Honor the flag by following the rules, not by dressing in it, or dragging it through the mud for ratings points.

Dishonor Roll:

Honor Roll:


Flag etiquette for the 4th of July

July 4, 2007

Every kid should learn this stuff by third grade, but it’s clear from what we see that they don’t.

Flag flying in front of U.S. Capitol (East side) LOC photo

So here’s a quick review of dos and don’ts for display and behavior toward the U.S. flag on this most flag-worthy of days, the 4th of July. With a few comments.

1. Fly your flag, from sunup to sundown. If you’re lucky enough to have a flagpole, run the flag up quickly. Retire it slowly at sunset. Then go see fireworks.

2. Display flags appropriately, if not flown from a staff. If suspended from a building or a wall, remember the blue field of stars should always be on the right — the “northwest corner” as you look at it. Do not display a flag flat.

3. Salute the flag as it opens the 4th of July parade. In a better world, there would be just one U.S. flag at the opening of the parade, and the entire crowd would rise as it passes them in a great patriotic, emotional wave — civilians with their hands over their hearts, hats off; people in uniform saluting appropriately with hats on. It’s likely that your local parade will not be so crisp. Other entries in the parade will have flags, and many will be displayed inappropriately. A true patriot might rise and salute each one — but that would look silly, perhaps even sillier than those sunshine patriots who display the flag inappropriately. Send them a nice letter this year, correcting their behavior. But don’t be obnoxious about it.

4. Do not display the flag from a car antenna, attached to a window of a car, or attached in the back of a truck. That’s against the Flag Code, which says a flag can only be displayed attached to the right front fender of a car, usually with a special attachment. This means that a lot of the National Guard entries in local parades will be wrongly done, according to the flag code. They defend the flag, and we should not make pests of ourselves about it. Write them a letter commending their patriotism. Enclose the Flag Code, and ask them to stick to it next time. Innocent children are watching.

5. Do not dishonor the flag by abusing it or throwing it on the ground. It’s become popular for a local merchant to buy a lot of little plastic flags and pass them out to parade goers. If there is an advertisement on the flag, that is another violation of the Flag Code. The flag should not be used for such commercial purposes. I have, several times, found piles of these flags on the ground, dumped by tired people who were passing them out, or dumped by parade goers who didn’t want to carry the things home. It doesn’t matter if it’s printed on cheap plastic, and made in China — it is our nation’s flag anyway. Honor it. If it is worn, dispose of it soberly, solemnly, and properly.

That’s probably enough for today. When the Flag Desecration Amendment passes — if it ever does — those parade float makers, National Guard soldiers, and merchants, can all be jailed, perhaps. Or punished in other ways.

Until that time, our best hope is to review the rules, obey them, and set examples for others.

Have a wonderful 4th of July! Fly the flag. Read the Declaration of Independence out loud. Love your family, hug them, and feed them well. That’s part of the Pursuit of Happiness that this day honors. It is your right, your unalienable right. Use it wisely, often and well.


Pre-July 4 special: “English only” video insults U.S. flag

June 29, 2007

Okay. I’ve had five or six people send me links to a YouTube video of Ron and Kay Rivoli singing “Press One for English.” Ha. Ha.

It’s a rant about language accommodations. Some Americans, free marketeers for the most part, get all buggy when confronted with a free market in language choices. America is becoming more global, marketing more goods in more places, and getting visited by more people. This growth in commerce brings things like American Airlines’ Spanish language reservations center (Who would have thought? When they can make reservations in Spanish, Spanish speakers buy a lot more airplane tickets.)

And Ron and Kay Rivoli put these fears into a song. Funny.

Can we talk? Can I pick a bone? Ron and Kay Rivoli insult the U.S. flag. They may not mean to do it, they may have done it unthinkingly — but that’s the problem with the whole rant: It’s all unthinking.

Here are the flag insults:

  1. 44 seconds into the video three servicemen are shown saluting the U.S. flag, displayed with the flag of California and the POW-MIA flag. Contrary to the Flag Code and good flag etiquette, the U.S. flag is in the center, rather than to its own right. A center display would be acceptable if the center flag pole were higher than the others — but in this case the U.S. flag’s pole is lower than the other two. Two flag insults at once.
  2. At 2:59 into the video, the flag is shown as cut into an agricultural field of some kind. The Flag Code specifies that the flag is never to be displayed flat. The flag should fly free. Since this flag is cut into a crop on the ground, it cannot be displayed properly. Further, it is generally considered poor etiquette to make representations of the flag out of things other than cloth.

This is all highly ironic. At 1:37 into the video, a scroll of the famous Theodore Roosevelt quote on English as the only language scrolls by. “We have room for but one flag, the American flag,” Roosevelt said (oops — there goes the POW-MIA flag). “We have room but for one language, and that is the English language,” Roosevelt continues.

They use the flag they insult as a model for going for one language? This makes no sense.

Do I pick nits? No, I think that every educated American should know the flag code, and should avoid insult to the U.S. flag at least, if not honor it correctly. I am not pedantic about a lot of things, but this is one.

Ron and Kay Rivoli, you owe America and its flag apologies. Get straight with the flag, before you ask me to insult the traditional languages and free enterprise heritage of our nation. If you want my support, don’t tread on the American flag when you ask it.

The Rivolis owe apologies to the U.S. flag. Will we see it?


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