Unfurl Old Glory and raise her high, for June 14 is Flag Day in these great United States.
Our red, white and blue banner is a mighty proud symbol of our nation – yet its display has still gotten people into plenty of hot water.
Although it may seem like displaying the flag on any day of the year should be a Constitutional right, that was not the case this May.
A group of California high school students were threatened with suspension when they showed up at school wearing T-shirts and bandannas bearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo.
School officials told the five students they must take off their bandannas and turn their flag T-shirts inside out or expect to get kicked out.
“They said we could wear it on any other day,” said flag-displaying student Daniel Galli in an NBC report, “but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today.”
Rather than comply, the students decided to go home on their own.
Good for them. Being banned from displaying an American symbol – in America, no less – is pure hogwash, not to mention un-American. Send them some apple pie.
Often the flag’s location can ruffle some feathers.
At least two American veterans were threatened with lawsuits for flying flags on flagpoles in their very own yards.
One was Central Florida’s Jimmie Watkins, who happened to be a retired U.S. Navy communications officer. The other was Virginia’s World War II hero Van T. Barfoot.
Both men faced lawsuits initiated by their homeowners associations, saying the flags in their yards were violating HOA rules.
At least Barfoot’s homeowners association eventually dropped the lawsuit, but only after the American Legion, the White House and several U.S. senators spoke out in support of the veteran.
More apple pie, please.
The only time an American flag should get people into trouble is if people disrespect it. Hopefully most folks know not to wear the flag as clothing or use it for curtains, wallpaper or a bedspread. Likewise, flags should never be burned, stepped on, dragged through the mud or used to line a litter box.
That’s just rude.
Other bad flag etiquette is a tad less obvious, at least for one fast food franchise. This clown-happy burger place has been known to fly its own yellow and red logo banner on the same pole as our American beauty. This violates the code that prohibits advertising from sharing the same staff.
It is also quite pretentious – as if the franchise is on the same level as the nation.
No flag beats out Old Glory in America, even if billions have been served – and even if the place serves apple pie.
This article doubles as the Monday, June 14 TC.com editorial in the Arizona Daily Star.
Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who is not sure about her HOA rules of flying flags although she knows it is not fond of her yard art. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com and Rynski.Etsy.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you care about Flag Day?
Do you even own an American flag?
Have you seen flag code violations? What were they and where?
Is it right to squash the American flag on Cinco de Mayo or any other holiday?