Glorify Veterans Today—But Not by Wearing Old Glory

November 11th, 2014

Thank you vets!

Know that your service to our country which preserves our freedom and liberty is appreciated not just on Veterans Day but every day.

I always thank veterans for their service whenever I know that someone served.  I’m particularly pleased that we have Veterans Day where we carve out time across the country to think about sacrifice and service.

In some ways, I think we should be like Israel where military service is mandatory for two years.  This wouldn’t necessarily mean being in combat.  Military service doesn’t always mean boots on the ground.  There are all kinds of things that can be done.  The bottom line is taking time to put the country first and serve.

Today is not only about honoring individual servicemen but also about paying tribute to the country as a whole.  That means acting with dignity and respect.  This brings me to a rather touchy subject but one I feel should be addressed or undressed as the case may be.

Here goes.

If you really want to honor the country, don’t wear the flag as clothing.

It’s one thing to wear words like “Juicy” scrawled across your butt just because for some weird reason you think it looks good.  That’s just unattractive.  Wearing a flag across your rear end is quite another matter.  It’s flat out unpatriotic.

I know I’m entering a touchy area here (no pun intended).  Many people regard wearing the flag as proof of their patriotism.  They argue that doing so is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

I disagree.

Obviously, it’s not as bad as engaging in the despicable act of flag burning or flying the Mexican flag over the U.S. flag thinking you’re being funny.  Those acts are unpatriotic even if they’re protected speech under the Constitution.

Wearing the flag is clearly a lesser offense than these two acts, but just because you won’t go to jail if you do something doesn’t make it right.

Also, know that there is a Flag Code.  According to the Flag Code, the flag represents a living country and should be treated as a living thing. That’s why it’s wrong to fly a torn or faded flag. It sends the wrong message.  I know this is Veterans Day and not Flag Day, but I think the two are clearly tied together so this should be mentioned.

I also felt compelled to bring this up after passing by a store with all kinds of t-shirts and tourist memorabilia in New York City.  Among items for sale were flag underwear and bikinis. If George Washington had ever seen this junk, he would likely have just stayed with Martha at Mount Vernon and skipped that unpleasant winter at Valley Forge.

Being patriotic is important and being respectful is included in that.  Veterans understand this.  That’s why you should always remove your cap during the Star Spangled Banner and put your hand over your heart as the anthem is sung.

Without veterans of many wars we would just be a colony of England or even two separate countries.  Let’s honor their sacrifice in a way we can all be proud and not by donning our “Have a Nice Day” flag shirt with the pot picture blazoned across the back.

Let’s be mindful of our history and our heritage and do what we can to truly honor our veterans and our country–especially today.

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