Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorial Day and Flag Etiquette
My pal, MeesterCranky is always going on about how most people do not know how to treat the flag with the respect it deserves. I have asked him to make this guest post in order to enlighten the rest of us. So here goes.....
Since it's Memorial Day, I've been asked to interrupt your barbecues with a guest post concerning flag etiquette.
As a former member for three years of the AAA Safety Patrol and color guard for my Boy Scout troop, I feel uniquely qualified to tell you exactly what's wrong with these Kentucky Fried NASCAR morons who have claimed the Flag and Anthem for their own, or use it simply to signify the beginning of a million dollar death match sporting event.
Too many of you knotheads are simply ignorant of how to show proper respect for the flag and the various symbols of nationalism we hold dear in the hope the Repugnican Reign of Terror will think us true patriots, and hopefully will be persuaded not to send us off to Gitmo or one of the closed bases being converted into Death Kamps™ as we speak.
Some high points, violations of which I see all the time:
ONE: The National Anthem. It should never be interrupted by hoots of approval, sung by those hiphop divas like a gospel revival song, or APPLAUDED AT IT"S CONCLUSION. This is a major no-no. The end of the national anthem is to be met with a dignified silence. A warm glow of pride and a few heartfelt sniffles are acceptable, provided it is not done in support of George Bush.
Also, stand at attention if in a uniform, removing your hat and placing it over your heart, or if in civilian dress simply stand up and fix your attention on the flag. Singing is optional, but if you're standing next to me, don't. Not everyone can sing this song and it's painful to hear you pinheads butchering it.
I myself think we should abandon this Scottish drinking song celebrating bombing and destruction, which sounds like a toothpaste commercial to me, in favor of the more tuneful and evocative America the Beautiful, which will be ever more appropriate as our environmental policies destroy more and more of this beauty; and remind us of what we have here within our own borders as the civilized world forces us into a period of isolationism in order to protect themselves.
TWO: The flag has been paraded out horizontally across the baseball field so many times now that's it become acceptable, unofficially changing our Flag Code to allow this practice. I personally do not like it. The flag is to always be displayed erect, billowing in the breeze.
Although the Flag Code set forth by Congress has not been officially amended to accept this, authorities such as the VFW have relaxed and stated this is acceptable as long as it is supported fully on all sides. Prior to this habit developing, the only time you saw a flag lying down was on a casket.
Speaking of this practice, how many times have they trotted out DA AKSHUL FLAG FRUM DA WORLD TRADE CENTER???!!! Does anyone believe that piece of fabric survived, magically settling intact on top of the burning rubble, pristine and perfect, when they are still finding bone shards two blocks away? Come on, George, we're not all as stupid as you are.
THREE: The flag is two sided (make your own joke here), in that it has a front and a back side. This means that when you wear a flag patch on one arm you can wear the REVERSE side on the opposite arm. Really. But, if you wear only one side, it must be the FRONT of the flag on your left shoulder - near your heart. The same is true if you wear it on the front of your uniform.
This also means that when you display the WRONG SIDE of the flag, i.e. hang it vertically but place the union on the wrong side, you are showing disrespect by displaying the ass end of the flag.
So those flag lapel pins? Wear it on the side nearest your heart.
FOUR: It is incorrect to display flags at half staff for local politicians, public servants, servicemen or private citizens. Flags are flown at half staff by presidential decree and it is a NATIONAL period of mourning. Also, do not fly it at three-quarters staff, or five-eights staff; if you are unsure where the middle of your flagpole is consult a Boy Scout.
When flying the flag at half staff, raise it BRISKLY as normal - you do raise it briskly don't you? - and then slowly, with dignity, lower it to half staff. The reverse is true when taking the flag down at night.
You DO take your flag down at night don't you?
This and many more fun facts can be found at the following page:
Read it. Send it to a Repugnican friend. You DO have a Repugnican friend don't you? No? Good citizen. You will be among the last of the Mud People to be exterminated in Camp Snoopy, formerly known as Montana.
If this hasn't been entertaining enough on this day we honor people who died to give me the right to say this, you can read my blog at: http://tinyurl.com/2s4uzj