Flag Abuse

Am I the only person left who was taught basic flag etiquette?

Many people in my neighborhood have flags out in front of their houses, and have since September. But few of them seem to have grasped that an American flag is not a dried flower wreath that you stick on your door and ignore. I was annoyed when I noticed that they were out without being lighted at night, but I can understand the difficulty of getting home before dark to take down your flag and the decision to leave it up in the dark. But by now, it’s obvious that the owners of many of them haven’t looked at them since they set them up. Several have been whipped around their poles by the wind so many times that you can’t see the union any more. The other morning, most of them were sopping wet from the previous night’s rain.

Hello, people! You can’t honor your country by treating its symbol with disrespect!

Damn, I thought this OP was going to be about the over saturation of the flag since September. How it’s being rendered useless as a symbol…and even moreso, used as leverage for simple bolstering consumerism. All of which, folks have their right to do…but just as well, which I have the right to complain.

But I see that’s not the case. Well, you can always set out on a personal campaign to set the record straight with those flag wavers who dis the flag, out at night, without lights, in the pouring rain.

Jet Black

Or maybe people has rightly come to the conclusion that rules like “the flag should be lighted at night or brought in” are arbitrary and stupid?

Why should anyone care about that shit? Honor your country by useful actions, not by blindly following useless and arbitrary rules.

Well said Revtim.

The rules actually only apply to official flying of the flag. I enjoy seeing our flag anywhere and everywhere. At all times of the day.

Or maybe the OP is pointing out that merely hanging the flag on your house is jumping on the bandwagon, and that if you’re serious about flying the flag, you should get off your fat ass and do it right. The flag isn’t a button that reads “Me too!”

Isn’t love of country and flag in the heart? Not in a rule book somewhere?

Do it right? Horse hockey.

If I want to paint my fat ass red white and blue and stick it out my front window, that’s every bit as right as I need it to be.

All this hoo-ha about when, why, where, what for, how long, how low, how wide, how now brown cow … It is a little rediculous. If I feel like flying a a cloth banner which is representative of my country I shouldn’t have to pass a fucking test to do it.

Relax. Not everyone is in the color guard, ferchrissakes.

If you are serious about about honoring your country, do something to improve it or help preserve its freedoms. Hanging a Walgreen’s bought piece of colored cloth that was made in Korea isn’t doing a fuck of a lot, no matter how many anal rules you follow doing it.

Pick up some litter for Christ’s sake, getting a single piece of trash off the ground is more useful than making sure a piece of cloth isn’t in the dark.

Will you be my messiah? Please? I already swore that jr8 would be my god, but we could still use a Christ v2.0…

Well, first of all, like RevTim said: if you want to do something, do something real.

But the point with the flag is that there’s a well-developed etiquette surrounding it. Bothering yourself to learn that etiquette and carry it out makes flying a flag a hell of a lot more significant than simply draping it over your mailbox, which is about the shallowist form of symbolism available.

Well…Let’s just have Dubya send a color guard out to whereever a flag is is heartfelt flown. Just to make sure they do it right.

Give me a break. We are living in times that we have never lived in before and you dare to criticize people who don’t fly the flag “by the book”.

Well fuck you.

Who the hell are you to second guess anyone’s reason for flying a flag?

Bullshit. Draping a flag over a mailbox is every damn bit as significant as the flag on the White House lawn.

Give me a fucking break.

Since September 11th, I’ve seen every Goddamn Packers flag on a plastic window holder replaced with the stars and stripes. I drive down my street, and see twenty flags in two blocks. One of my neighbors lined his walkway with them. It has literally been turned into a bumper sticker.

The flag has been trivialized by simplistic overuse. I don’t doubt that many Americans sincerely thought that flying the flag was a show of support for the nation. But many more have simply made a tacky show of having it around. The symbolism of the flag is lost when it’s applied thoughtlessly.

I don’t give a fuck whether it’s properly lit at night. I get irritated when I get spam selling American flags because there’s a huge demand for them suddenly. I get irritated when I’m surrounded by empty jingoism, which is not about the flag, but about the people who don’t want their neighbors to appear more “patriotic” than them.

The OP is getting beat up here, so let me chime in to agree with him.

Look, if you’re flying the flag, presumably you’re doing so because you want to honor what the flag stands for. To fully communicate that sentiment, you should also honor the flag you’re flying.

As with the OP, I can understand flying it unlit at night, especially for people with long commutes and particularly now that the days are getting shorter. For less-formal situations like flags flown at private residences, it’s understandable that etiquette will sometimes give way to practical reality.

But flying the flag in the rain is just wrong. By allowing the flag to suffer the the ravages of the elements, you are disrespecting the flag. For goodness sake, take it down. If you’re going to be at work, check the weather before you leave and fly/don’t fly accordingly.

And for goodness sake, don’t let a tattered flag keep flying. Either mend the holes or (preferably) dispose of the flag. And don’t let the flag rest on the ground.

Jack Batty, you’re wrong. A flag flown with care is more significant than a flag flown without care. If you’re going to fly the flag, you should at take some pride in doing so and make the effort to fly it properly.


If anyone has the intention of flying the flag (an most other flags) correctly, here’s a pretty damned good reference.
(Please pardon the inconvenience of a zipped file and associated file shuffling that’s required.)

Nope. You haven’t sold me yet. We’re dealing with a concept here and, like birthday gifts, it’s the thought that counts.

For someone to walk up to a well meaning individual who only wants to make a small symbolic display and berate them for not obeying “Rule 7 Paragraph 3 Line 12 of the Codicile on Inclement Weather from the third printing of the Official Flag Flying Rule Book; updated” … I think that’s disrespectful.

People. Fly the flag ever how you see fit and be proud. Those who condemn you for it…well…they are sad people anyway.

Try giving your wife a pack of gum for her birthday, and tell her it’s the thought that counts.

That’s right, it’s sad to say that the flag shouldn’t be pasted up like wallpaper just because everyone else is doing it.

It’s exactly the thought that counts, or the lack thereof.

That dog won’t hunt. What, is my country going to not sleep with me if I fly a flag in the rain?

I’m not sure why I’m even arguing about this. I have a hard time figuring out why to fly a flag in the first place.
Is it to prove I’m an American? I live in America. I think I’ll just let people jump to their own conclusions regarding my citizenship.
Is it to prove I love my country? I know I love my country, and I don’t feel like proving that to a damn soul.
Is it to relay my condolences for victims of the terror attacks? I do that through my words. What’s a flag going to relate that I can’t?

Everything we’re talking about is unbelievably arbitrary, and relying on all these rules for patriotism is myopic. The idea is to actually be patriotic, not make sure the people in the know think you’re patriotic.

Forgive me…

I really didn’t realize you were privy to everyone elses thoughts. So they only fly them because everyone else does.

The scum!


Go away will you?