Fathers and flags, long may they wave

I am reminded that today, June 14, is Flag Day. So, with Father’s Day right around the corner as well, I thought I’d publish the text of a commentary I did a few years ago on NPR about flags and dads to mark the Fourth of July. (The audio is available here, for those who prefer to listen):

“What we needed, Dad said, was a flagpole.

Not one of those flimsy ones that’s just stuck on the side of the house with their puny little American flag hanging from it. What we needed was a real flagpole, a flagpole tall enough to put a real American flag rippling in the breeze where it belonged, where you had to look up at the sky to see it. And we needed to put that new flagpole right there in the middle of the yard.

So one weekend in the summer of 1967, we brought out the shovels, the concrete, the gravel. Dad and a couple of his buddies dug a deep hole and in a few hours, they had planted themselves a tall flagpole. The next morning, Dad’s color guard — me and my little brother, Alan — reported for instructions:

Raise the flag every morning. Take it down every evening. Fold it in the officially prescribed manner, and never ever allow it to touch the ground. Dad, you see, was a sergeant in the Air Force and he made sure we did it right.

We Americans love our flag. We fly it everywhere from courthouses and churches to car dealerships. We pledge allegiance to it. We sing songs about it. And this year, like every year, politicians are trying to make it a crime to burn the flag.

Personally, I burned a flag or two in my time – not in protest, though. Dad would disown me if I have ever pulled anything like that. But, you see, Dad was a stickler about retiring flags that had faded or torn. And he taught us it would be the height of disrespect to just toss an old flag in the garbage.

Instead, when Old Glory grew too worn to stay in service, we would set it afire in a solemn little backyard ceremony, then dispose of the ashes. Even today, I’m offended every time I see a tattered flag still flying. That kind of desecration, done out of apathy and neglect, bugs me a lot more than flag burning as an act of protest. Flag burners understand its real power as a symbol. Whatever you think about their judgment, they care enough to express their opinion. And apathy and neglect are far greater threats to our freedom than passion.

A couple of years ago, I happened to be in the area of our old house and I drove by to see it. A lot had changed in the neighborhood. But if you can pardon the paraphrase, the visit gave proof to my eyes that our flagpole was still there. I can’t say I was surprised. Dad always built things that last.”

– Jay Bookman

261 comments Add your comment

Janney

June 14th, 2012
7:42 am

Good commentary. Thanks, Jay

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
7:44 am

our flagpole was still there

Great story.

Practical question–as a Boy Scout, I was taught to never leave it out in the rain (and so I never leave mine out, unattended, if I think it might shower). How’d your father feel about raising the flag when rain was forecast? Or, was there always someone home to take it down if it did rain, so this was a moot point?

(Oh, and I get after my kid as well if she ever allows the flag to touch the ground.)

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

June 14th, 2012
7:45 am

Lovely remembrance Jay.

One of the greatest gifts you and I got…..a Dad who loved us always.

Jay

June 14th, 2012
7:48 am

As I recall — it was a long time ago now, sfd — we took down the flag when big storms were coming, but I doubt we did so in every rain event.

independent thinker

June 14th, 2012
7:49 am

Twenty five years ago a neighbor went in a nursing home and the son was eager to clean all her packrat trash out of the hose so he could quickly sell it. The whole front yard was piled high with trash he expected the city to pick up. Sitting in the middle of the mess was old glory-48stars. I salvaged it and she proudly is displayed on our front porch every holiday.One’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Paul

June 14th, 2012
7:50 am

Wonderful remembrance and tribute, to both the flag and your father.

the cat

June 14th, 2012
7:50 am

Very nice Jay. Thank you.

Common Damn Sense isn't Very Common

June 14th, 2012
7:53 am

Jay

Being the son of an Army Air Corps sergeant myself and around your age I would say our fathers probably served together a time or two. :-)

It is sad that many subdivisions have established a NO Flagpole rule.

Gale

June 14th, 2012
7:55 am

I remember how disgusted I was at the many filthy and tattered flags on cars a year after 9/11. People who were caught up in the patriotic fervor of post 9/11 who forgot what that flag was all about. It almost made me appreciate the magnetic flags that at least did not shred.

Jay

June 14th, 2012
7:56 am

Yes, Common, I find those rules disturbing as well. But I’m galled by a lot of the things that homeowner-association contracts require or forbid, and that people just seem to accept.

JamVet

June 14th, 2012
7:56 am

Great story, Jay.

Long may she wave…

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
7:56 am

I doubt we did so in every rain event.

Makes sense.

(Of course mine — “just stuck on the side of the house”, I’m afraid — gets rained on sometimes despite my precautions.)

Recon 0311 2533

June 14th, 2012
7:58 am

Jay, great commentary. Thanks for sharing, I had to wipe away a few tears.

Just saying..

June 14th, 2012
7:59 am

Really nice.
And I agree totally about tattered, faded flags; the flag always should look its best.

ByteMe - Political thug

June 14th, 2012
8:00 am

as a Boy Scout, I was taught to never leave it out in the rain

Speaking of corporate-sponsored apathy of the flag…

I was in a hotel in Augusta for Hugo in ‘89. Actually, it was more of a motel, with every door opening onto the parking lot and (or course) large glass windows in each room. Next door was a car dealership flying a HUGE flag. At night. During a strong hurricane. 2 am and it sounded like a train was rumbling through my room.

By morning, all that was left of the flag were 3 stripes, still blowing in the breeze.

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
8:01 am

homeowner-association contracts require or forbid, and that people just seem to accept.

To diverge just a hair–one of the more shocking things to me when I moved Down Here from the Northeast was that whole subdivision culture.

I’d always lived in neighborhoods that had been built house by house, (or apartment building by apartment building) that didn’t have those kinds of individual restrictions, where people could put up a flagpole or a cornfield or whatnot if they wanted to, and found it somewhat comical that a supposedly rugged-individualistic / proudly-conservative region allowed itself to be told what to do like that.

I mean, God forbid you don’t sod your front lawn Just So, and don’t be thinking about leveraging the full-sun coverage to grow something you can actually *eat*, where people can see it!

carlosgvv

June 14th, 2012
8:02 am

A faded, torn and tattered flag still stubbornly and proudly flying in the breeze is not a bad thing. It tells me our country may be battered and bruised but we are still here and we will NOT be defeated no matter how tough things get.

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
8:03 am

A faded, torn and tattered flag still stubbornly and proudly flying in the breeze is not a bad thing.

in a home of modest means, perhaps. In a car dealership where all the windows and products for sale are gleaming, not so much.

Thomas Heyward Jr.

June 14th, 2012
8:05 am

As long as the Union was faithful to her trust
Like friends and like brethren, kind were we, and just
But now, when Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
.
Any thing else is for homo servilus.
.
Baaaaaaaaaaaa

JohnnyReb

June 14th, 2012
8:07 am

Thanks Jay, very good piece. Another example of the many things on which we agree. I’ll keep working on you about the others.

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
8:07 am

when Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar

Jeez, that didn’t take long.

Jay

June 14th, 2012
8:07 am

And for those who might be curious, CMSgt. Bookman and his lovely bride are hale and hearty and living in Florida (although at the moment they’re in Massachusetts visiting their latest great-grandchild, Savannah.)

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
8:08 am

When I was in the Navy and my ship was in port, I always liked the sunset flag ceremony. Standing on the fantail, at attention and saluting the lowering of the ensign while the bos’un’s pipe trilled. Always moved me.

I also took part in a decommissioning ceremony one time where the Stars and Stripes was lowered from the flagstaff for the last time. That was special too. An old warrior retired from the fleet to be broken up after serving for so many faithful years and countless crews aboard her. It was sad, in a way…not many ships become museums, you know, but it is the way of things.

I say this because maybe on Flag Day, we should remember those Veterans who are on the beach needing help and trying to stay away from their own personal breaking yard. Too many Vets need help…our help.

Jay

June 14th, 2012
8:09 am

Thanks for that, Normal.

Common Damn Sense isn't Very Common

June 14th, 2012
8:13 am

Jay

You are truly blessed to have your dad still around especially this weekend, mine’s been gone for 30 years.

Soon it will be your time to be a great grandfather :-)

Jay

June 14th, 2012
8:14 am

One step at a time, Common! I’m in no hurry for the granddad thing! (Although I’m sure I’ll enjoy it when the time comes).

Call It Like It Is

June 14th, 2012
8:15 am

I keep a flag on my mantle in a proper box for display. Bought it in Pearl Harbor, it flew over the Arizona. Love coming home every day and seeing it there. It reminds of the many fine men and woman that gave up everything so I may leave in freedom.

Common Damn Sense isn't Very Common

June 14th, 2012
8:16 am

Jay

I meant a fantastic Grandfather LOL.

I have 19 grands and it comes with blessings and pain at the same time :-)

Jay

June 14th, 2012
8:23 am

Like I said, Common, I’m in no hurry for that. But I’ve lived long enough now to understand that one of the great blessings of time is that it allows you to see and experience Human Life from different perspectives. You’re a child, then a parent. A young cub in the business, then a veteran in the business. This weekend we’ll see our youngest graduate from college, and I can recall when that was me, straining at the leash to get my degree and get out into that world and see what I could do.

carlosgvv

June 14th, 2012
8:24 am

Normal- “too many Vets need help”

This is all too true. It’s just another entry in what is becomming an increasingly long list of national disgraces. Unfortunately, neither the Democrats or Republicans seem to care all that much. Don’t both parties realize that if the people increasingly realize that neither party cares for their concerns, a third and maybe even fourth party will emerge?

kayaker 71

June 14th, 2012
8:25 am

Nice piece, Bookman. Well said.

Gordon

June 14th, 2012
8:26 am

Nice work, Jay. Thank you.

Common Damn Sense isn't Very Common

June 14th, 2012
8:27 am

Congrats on your daughters graduation.

Now you can start saving for retirement (which I’m sure some of your ‘fans’ look forward to)
:-)

ty webb

June 14th, 2012
8:28 am

Well said, Jay.

GT

June 14th, 2012
8:29 am

Great read!

We are in an era of veterans from World Wars dying of old age. The last man turns the lights out stuff. Nature took care of what the Germans and Japanese couldn’t as proud good American soldiers die off.

Some of these men were only boys when they were sent to combat, 18 years old. They were rightfully so scared and all they had were each other. You see them now very old men, sitting in metal chairs at services, having to be helped to and from. The world has changed so much since they owned it. I’m sure some of that fear is back they felt in those wars. Now they don’t even have each other, it must be lonely. But they and we still have that flag, and I hope what it stands for. I pray that flag someday unites us all like those soldiers were years ago. We are all we got and on most days that and God is all we need.

GT

June 14th, 2012
8:33 am

Good stuff!

Dad and a lot of those guys are gone now. All we got in this country is each other and that flag. On a good day with God’s help that is all we need.

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
8:34 am

Common Damn Sense isn’t Very Common

June 14th, 2012
8:16 am

I have 14 grand kids, and three great grand kids, and all are going to grow up to be “Social Liberals”… :lol:

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
8:36 am

carlosgvv

June 14th, 2012
8:24 am

There are good Vet Help groups out ther and all it takes is a five dollar donation if everybody would do it.

the cat

June 14th, 2012
8:36 am

Another moving ceremony involving a flag is a military funeral. Just attended one not long ago where taps was played, the flag was removed from the coffin, folded solemmly and presented to the widow. Just incredible.

Jefferson

June 14th, 2012
8:38 am

Happy Flag day Americans !!!

the cat

June 14th, 2012
8:38 am

Speaking of vet help groups-Is anyone following Anderson Cooper’s reporting on the supposed charities for disabled veterans raking in millions and millions and not one dime going to actual veterans?

Common Damn Sense isn't Very Common

June 14th, 2012
8:38 am

Normal

Since you are 10 years older than I (I think anyway) LOL and having in that 10 years difference 7 of the grands coming to the age of parenthood I will probably have more :-)

And Social Liberals which is a requirement, Fiscal Conservative though :-)

Common Damn Sense isn't Very Common

June 14th, 2012
8:41 am

Cat

The veteran scams have been around foreve,r sad and someone needs to be issued a severe beating.

I still have the flag used on my dad’s casket, folded and displayed in it’s case. I proudly display it so that I can see it daily (if in town).

skipper

June 14th, 2012
8:45 am

Good article……..respect is respect no matter what camp you are in….

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
8:47 am

Regarding charity scams–It’s always a good idea to at least check out an independent resource to see what’s being reported.

here’s one such report for the Wounded Warrior Project (an outfit I support)

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12842

I remember one outfit (can’t recall the name) that had solicited us by phone; I checked out their website, and it was fairly obvious just from scanning the site that they didn’t appear to offer anything
of value to actual vets. Sad.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 14th, 2012
8:49 am

“Cheers for the sailors that fought on the wave for it,
Cheers for the soldiers that always were brave for it,
Tears for the men that went down to the grave for it,
Here comes the flag!”

Arthur Macy, The Flag

carlosgvv

June 14th, 2012
9:00 am

stands – 8:03

Read “Old Ironsides” by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

ken

June 14th, 2012
9:01 am

Also, today is the Army’s birthday. 237 years old. I pledge allegiance………… God bless the USA
And God bless all VETS

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
9:02 am

Jm

June 14th, 2012
9:03 am

Nice one.

The baseball stadium I’m near leaves the flag up all the time, at night unlit, and in rain. Makes me sick.

I’ve been half tempted to take it down for them, fold and deliver it back along with a long note.

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
9:05 am

carlos, why not post it in its entirety, since it’s on-topic — well, the 4th-to-the-last-line anyway.

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon’s roar;–
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!

Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o’er the flood
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor’s tread,
Or know the conquered knee;–
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the God of storms,–
The lightning of the gale!

Cosby

June 14th, 2012
9:06 am

Cadoos to Thomas Haywood Jr on the Bonnie Blue coment. I served under the stars and stripes but my heart will always be with the stars and bars and Bonnie Blue’s- the last flags to fly resisting governemnt tyranny

markie mark

June 14th, 2012
9:07 am

Stands – as a native Atlantan, I am not sure the homeowner associations things are from here….as a kid in Decatur, I had never seen any until I was an adult. My wife, however, a Miami native (aka known as a suburb of the Bronx) is outraged that for the last 24 years I have refused to buy a house in a “controlled” neighborhood….

and Jay, as the grand of three (who just moved in for the summer with me) you will enjoy them a lot more than the kids….you are older, wiser, and calmer (however, I have noticed the increase of the consumption of adult beverages in the evening during adjustment time…….)

Paul

June 14th, 2012
9:08 am

Jay

Your father was a Chief? My respect for him was already pretty high, but wow. Only one percent of the entire enlisted force ever attains that rank.

You were pretty fortunate to be born where you were.

Road Scholar

June 14th, 2012
9:09 am

This is the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812, which included the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore and the writing of our Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key. Good article ,Jay!

Don't Forget

June 14th, 2012
9:09 am

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
9:11 am

Speaking of Grand Kids…I have thought for a long time now (since my first one) that if God could have figured out how to give us our Grand Kids first, we would have been much better parents.

Jm

June 14th, 2012
9:13 am

Nowadays your average HOA would crucify you for putting a flag in your front yard

markie mark

June 14th, 2012
9:13 am

Amen, Normal

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
9:14 am

I am not sure the homeowner associations things are from here…

Well, they’re certainly not exclusive to the South. It’s more of a newer-development kind of thing. I’m sure there are plenty of similarly restrictive housing developments in the NYC tri-state region; it’s just that out of the housing stock to choose from, your odds are greater that you’ll wind up in a home that’s NOT part of this world, the closer to the city you get.

Call It Like It Is

June 14th, 2012
9:15 am

You know not to get off subject, but Road Scholar brought it up in reguards to the 200 anniversary of the War of 1812. Why do we love the British but hate the French? We fought the British in two wars, they burned down our capital. The French saved our bacon and gave us the Statue of Liberty. Rather strange if you think about it.

Bernie

June 14th, 2012
9:16 am

Jay, After reading your article I was touched and had a Rockwell moment. Those type of stories are ones that can eassily be found anywhere in Pennsylvania. However, in the deep south Flags have an altogether different feeling and meaning. Growing up here in Atlanta, the only Flag I remember seeing the most was one that brought out the most distatseful feelings of hate, fear and intimidation.

The Confederate Flag was and still is one of most hateful symbols of the American landscape. You can still see it flying around the metro area but nowhere near the numbers it use to be. I wished we all could have shared in such an experience as you. However, in the South the American Flag is not always as cherished as it should be. Even today many of the South’s state capitals still fly this symbol of Hate proudly. In time, it will eventually change and they will and can be only found in Musems for historical purposes as where they should be. However, this change will come not fast enough for me and many who know the real significance of flying such a symbol of Hate.

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
9:22 am

Why do we love the British but hate the French?

I blame Matt Groening.

gdrla

June 14th, 2012
9:25 am

Bernie – the Confederate Flag has unfortunately been coopted as a symbol of Hate by folks who DO NOT understand its heritage – the views of the segregationist southern legislatures and hate groups do not speak for me & numerous other Southerners who have a different perspective on that symbol. As recently as 25 years ago it was still a symbol of regional pride – it was a symbol of those who were willing to fight & die for their beliefs – that belief that this was a Voluntary union and that some might wish to withdraw from it. The common perception that the War Between the States was over Slavery is another revisionist interpolation of the actual history – but understandable since those who win the wars write the history. That flag – the Stars & Bars – the Confederate Battle Flag – to me means that my Southern ancestors were willing to fight & die for their beliefs – even when they had no weapons, clothing, or food to fight with. I fly mine with pride – right below my Stars & Stripes – it is a symbol of my heritage & honorable ancestors – NOT a symbol of Hate. Too bad that folks cannot sit down to exchange/share viewpoints because all is sometimes not necessarily as it seems.

Aquagirl

June 14th, 2012
9:28 am

Nowadays your average HOA would crucify you for putting a flag in your front yard

In defense of all the HOA’s that end up in the news, flagpoles often violate safety clauses or other junk that was originally intended to stop people from building ski jumps on their roofs or whatever. One a-hole neighbor complains and the HOA must take action, it’s a legal thing. Then some bored reporter jumps in and the fecal matter hits the fan.

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
9:29 am

Off topic, but capitalism at its best…

http://www.papercutsinc.com/

ty webb

June 14th, 2012
9:31 am

the “Stars and Bars” and the Confederate Battle flag are not the same…the “stars and bars” refers to the first official flag of the confederacy, and is the one that GA’s most recent flag most resembles. the confederate battle flag is often incorrectly referred to as “the star and bars”.

Paul

June 14th, 2012
9:34 am

“that belief that this was a Voluntary union and that some might wish to withdraw from it.”

People are free to believe anything they wish. That Pres Obama wasn’t born in America. That the Trilateral Commission runs the government. That the moon walk was faked. That the income tax is unconstitutional and you don’t have to pay.

Same in this case. Texas v White settled that 150 years ago.

But people are still free to believe whatever they want to believe.

Joe Hussein Mama

June 14th, 2012
9:34 am

I. Thinker — “Sitting in the middle of the mess was old glory-48stars.”

We’ve got one too. :)

She’s threadbare and dirty (my wife’s grandfather brought it back from WWII), but she stays properly folded and in a box with my Army decorations.

Joe Hussein Mama

June 14th, 2012
9:38 am

T. Cat — “Speaking of vet help groups-Is anyone following Anderson Cooper’s reporting on the supposed charities for disabled veterans raking in millions and millions and not one dime going to actual veterans?”

I haven’t, but I always verify a charity’s status before donating to them. There are several veteran-oriented charities that I contribute to on a monthly basis.

Bernie

June 14th, 2012
9:38 am

Gdrla 9:25, Unfortunately it was used and still is used as a symbol of defiance and hate. The confederacy was a determined insurgency that fought for the destruction of America. had the south won we would not be flying the Stars and Bars but the Confederate Flag. I agree with your right to fly the Confederate Flag when where ever you like. However my personal opinion is that it SHOULD NOT be flown alongside,under or on the same pole as the Stars and Stripes! No Flag should have that honor, especially one HELL bent on the destruction of America and its people.

the cat

June 14th, 2012
9:40 am

JHM-I verify charities’ status as well but apparently there are lots of good intention folks that do not to the tune of 56 MILLION just last year donated to a charity with not one dime going to veterans.

Bernie

June 14th, 2012
9:40 am

I stand corrected…Stars and Stripes…Long may she wave.

Erwin's cat

June 14th, 2012
9:41 am

my neighbor is a lot like you Dad Jay…put a 30ft flag pole in the front yard and keeps it lit up at night…a Korean War Vet…The HOA had issues with the flag pole, but didn’t realize who they were dealing with…the flag still flies unapologetic…

kayaker 71

June 14th, 2012
9:42 am

I have framed on one wall of my office a poster entitled Tattered Banners published by the Alabama Dept of Archives and History. It depicts the 25 Confederate Battle flags of 25 Alabama units and the day of the flag’s capture and where it was taken. One of the most interesting of the lot is the flag of the 28th Alabama infantry. It is a white flag with a sunburst as it’s main character. It was made from the wedding dress of the unit’s commanding officer and was captured at Orchard Knob, the Battle of Chattanooga on November 23, 1863.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

June 14th, 2012
9:46 am

what a great commentary – thanks, Jay!

that’s the one thing I really hate about being an ocean away – I miss seeing my dad and hanging out with him.

God love him, he’s hard of hearing, so phone calls are more an exercise in patience and a journey through non-sequitors than actual communication … Me: “So how was (my sister’s) party?” … Dad: “Yeah, I’m going to go to breakfast” … Me: “No, dad, how was the PARTY?” … Dad: “Oh, yeah, it’s getting kind of hot here, but I’m still not turning on the air conditioner, yet.” … thank god for e-mail …

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

June 14th, 2012
9:48 am

“Why do we love the British but hate the French?”

if you ask the Brits, they don’t think Americans love them – they wonder why the bad guy in every movie is British … (I keep telling them it’s the accent that makes them sound smarter and more devious)

Joe Hussein Mama

June 14th, 2012
9:48 am

T. Cat — “apparently there are lots of good intention folks that do not to the tune of 56 MILLION just last year donated to a charity with not one dime going to veterans.”

Holy crap. :eek:

People that do that kind of thing pizz me the hell off. There are plenty of veterans who need help, and plenty of Americans willing to pitch in to help. But when some jackwagon decides to dress his scam up as a veteran to scam people out of their money (and also to scam REAL veterans’ charities out of contributions they should have gotten), I tell you, it’s enough to make me wish there really was a hell.

Here are the veteran-oriented charities I regularly contribute to:

Pat Tillman Foundation
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Wounded Warrior Project
National Coalition For Homeless Veterans

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
9:48 am

About the CSA Battle Flag–Josef got me thinking about this yesterday, figured I would post a link to Howard Dean’s somewhat infamous speech from 2003.

http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/dnc0203/dean022103spt.html

I post this not to endorse his framing of “Repubs bad Dems good” (although longtime listeners know those would reflect my personal leamings) but rather to ask folks, as Josef had done, to see a bigger picture, beyond the obvious symbolism, as Dean was in his somewhat inartful way, trying to do.

Here’s the passage for which he drew so much flack, even though, apparently, the audience included many African-Americans who cheered what he had said. Emphasis mine.

———–

Let me tell you something else I’m going to do.

One of the things I thought was terrific about Bill Clinton was that when he became president in 1992 he said that his Cabinet would look like the rest of America. And he did it; and he did it. [applause].

I want all of our institutions of higher learning–our law schools, our medical schools, our best universities–to look like the rest of America, and I thought [applause], I thought that one of the most dispicable moments of this president’s administration was three weeks ago when on national primetime television he used the word quota seven times. The University of Michigan does not now have quotas; it has never had quotas. Quotas is a race-loaded word, designed to appeal to people’s fears of losing their jobs. [cheers, applause].

I intend to talk about race during this election in the South, because the Republicans have been talking about it since 1968 in order to divide us, and I’m going to bring us together, because you know what, you know what? White folks in the South who drive pick ups with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us and not them because their kids don’t have health insurance and their kids need better schools too. [cheers, applause].

Aquagirl

June 14th, 2012
9:49 am

It was made from the wedding dress of the unit’s commanding officer

I had no idea some of those Confederate units were so progressive.

Mighty Righty

June 14th, 2012
9:49 am

Thanks Jay, apporpriate and moving. Brings back memories. The elementary school I attended chose three students each week to raise and lower our flags. It was an honor to be part of that ceremony, particularly for me as my brother was then in the Pacific defending our nation. We as with many families at that time had a blue star hanging in our window at home honoring my brother and a flag was mounted on our house. My job at home was to place that flag before I went to school
and take it down each evening. Thanks again Jay.

Don't Forget

June 14th, 2012
9:49 am

It was made from the wedding dress of the unit’s commanding officer

I assume you meant his wife’s dress. :lol:

Bernie

June 14th, 2012
9:51 am

Anytime I see the flying of the Confederate Flag in front of a businesses,services or residences, I cringe and remember what this flag truly means and not from any place of historical pride or heritage. I do not patronize those businesses and encourage everyone I know and business associates to avoid such places, for they are places that do not truly believe in what this country stands for.

Joseph

June 14th, 2012
9:52 am

That was a great piece Jay! I’m sure yourliberal brothers won’t care to much for it though….

Paul

June 14th, 2012
9:53 am

kayaker 71

That post well illustrates the concept of “history and heritage” as opposed to that…. stuff…. so many post.

I take it units were free to create their own flags back then. Interesting.

Erwin's cat

June 14th, 2012
9:53 am

Bernie…some would argue with your definition as to the “true” meaning of the confederate flag

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
9:54 am

stands for decibels

June 14th, 2012
9:57 am

I’m sure yourliberal brothers won’t care to much for it though….

http://www.rif.org/

josef

June 14th, 2012
9:57 am

Excellent little commentary, IMAM, a tip of the hat to you. I trust those who like to sling mud at your loyalties to the republic will take note and remember this.

Today and here are probably not the best time and best place to be bringing up the Late Misunderstanding, so I will refrain from passing my own comments as a not completely reconstructed citizen of the unified republic.

As Unmentionable, like Jay, a military brat says, “it is the flag of my nation and a symbol of who we are, good and bad. Of course there are those times when I look at it, I am reminded of what it means, historically, to be an Indian in America. But I am also reminded that I am an American and that is my flag, too.”

So, on a day such as today, let’s contemplate, not our failures as a nation, but our triumphs.

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

June 14th, 2012
9:57 am

Paul,
Throughout history Regimental flags were the king of the chess board. A captured flag was the worst humiliation a unit could suffer. They probably carried more emotional weight than the flag of their nation.

Joe Hussein Mama

June 14th, 2012
9:57 am

Joseph — ” I’m sure yourliberal brothers won’t care to much for it though….”

You’re clearly unaware that several of Jay’s liberal regulars on this board are veterans.

Newtiepewtie

June 14th, 2012
9:57 am

When the Iraq War Dead started being publicized in the early 2000’s, my Dad, a WW II Veteran, lowered his flag to half-mast to mourn our losses…Since we continued to have losses for the next 7 or 8 years, he continued to keep his flag at half-mast until he passed away at 86 years old. He was a Veteran, but thought that War, in general, was STUPID and a HUGE WASTE.

ByteMe - Political thug

June 14th, 2012
9:58 am

ByteMe - Political thug

June 14th, 2012
10:00 am

You’re clearly unaware that several of Jay’s liberal regulars on this board are veterans.

You’re confusing him with someone who cares about “facts” and “reality”.

Newtiepewtie

June 14th, 2012
10:00 am

Flying a tattered flag is appropriate for our nation…it shows the reality of how torn our American Civil Life and Politics have become..

Joseph

June 14th, 2012
10:01 am

Joe Hussein Mama:

I doubt many are. Liberals are certainly not as patriotic as Conservative Americans. I’m personally heading up a flag retirement ceremony tonight and I guarantee you there won’t be any liberals there…

Bernie

June 14th, 2012
10:01 am

Erwin’s Cat, I agree, everyone is entitled to their opinion but not the Facts. One fact is The South lost and losers do not get the right to fly the flag on the same pole as the Victor! The Confederate Flag should have been retired and placed in a Museum for historical reflection and remembrance purposes. Today, I still find it offensive to my very core, whenever I see it along side or near the Stars and Stripes.

They BOTH suck

June 14th, 2012
10:01 am

josef

Good morning

“So, on a day such as today, let’s contemplate, not our failures as a nation, but our triumphs.”

That was awesome

Joseph

June 14th, 2012
10:02 am

Joe Hussein Mama:

By the way… On a blog you can say your many things. That certainly don’t mean there true….

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

June 14th, 2012
10:02 am

“You’re clearly unaware that several of Jay’s liberal regulars on this board are veterans.”

or the children / neice / friends with those who are …

a small mind is a terrible thing …