I have immense regard for the American flag and I love the country for which it stands. I fly the flag on holidays and stand when it passes by. I have become increasingly saddened, however, by the disrespect to which it is subjected. Some disregard has become so baked-in to our culture that we do not recognize the impropriety.
The American flag is, above all else, a flag. It waves in the breeze and is usually held aloft proudly on a flag pole. The abuse of the flag or the co-opting of its likeness is shameful. Here are samples of the variety of misuse that sadden me.
· is fashioned into lapel pins and jewelry;
· is enlarged to cover an entire football field during the playing of our National Anthem;
· is flown unendingly, usually frayed, from passenger vehicles;
· is claimed by one group or another of Americans to the exclusion of others;
· serves as a ground cloth for picnics, especially at patriotic band concerts;
· is affixed to the helmets and jerseys of athletes competing against other American teams similarly adorned or leads both teams on to the field.
You may find other types and examples of misuse.
The American flag is held in trust for all of us and deserves to be respected. This flag is your flag, this flag is my flag, from California to the New York islands. It has great value and I pray we stop debasing it.
— Tedwilliam Theodore, Chico