Letter to the Editor: Retire tattered U.S. flags
January 28, 2014 11:00 AM

Does the sight of Old Glory waving in your yard fill you with pride? Fine, but what if the wind, rain and snow have shredded it? If you revere the flag as the symbol of your country, are you demonstrating your respect by letting the flag fly torn and tattered?

Before the tea party tries to recruit me, I should add that I regret the hijacking of the language of patriotism by right-wing political groups. To the old saying, “My country, right or wrong,” I would add the amended version: “If right, to be kept right; if wrong, to be set right.” And I find some wisdom in Samuel Johnson’s observation: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

So no, I’m no self-righteous flag-waver; I don’t even own one. But love of country and respect for the flag belong to all of us, regardless of our political views. Let’s all treat the Stars and Stripes with the care it deserves: Display your flag proudly, by all means, but repair or replace it when necessary.

And as for tying a miniature flag to your car’s antenna (or worse, wearing a flag patch on your jeans), the less said about that, the better.

Bob Russell


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