An editorial I read yesterday left me seeing red, plus stars and stripes. It was another slam against wearing flag pins. This attitude distresses me, because wearing the flag as a pin is the only —sanctioned, let’s call it—method for ordinary civilians to wear the flag, as opposed to all the unsanctioned ways in which people wear the flag (but is only occasionally remarked upon).
I took two screen captures from the on-line editorial, because I like using gimmicks in order to illustrate my writing. The first image is from the title of the editorial.
Notice how the headline ends in “Trite Flag Pin.” That started it. The next bit of imagery comes from within the text of the article, where the writer calls it “empty symbolism.”
I don’t care if you don’t fly a flag at your house, or at your business. I don’t care if you don’t wear a flag pin over your heart. Honestly, I won’t give it a second thought. But don’t call my flag pin trite or empty symbolism. The US Code is plain about respect for the flag, and that respect extends to flag pins. It says:
TITLE 4–FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES,
CHAPTER 1–THE FLAG; Sec. 8. Respect for flag
(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic
uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military
personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.
The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living
thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on
the left lapel near the heart. (bold text mine-DH)
I have a vintage flag pin; it belonged to my mother. I wear it occasionally, but I’d rather keep it as a memento. I’ve been researching flag pins, because I would like to offer for sale a variety of good, better and best quality flag pins in the flag store. And that’s a search that is taking longer than in should, because thus far I am not finding any middle—better I should say—quality pins.
In the meantime however, I’ve made a decision. I want to be more up-front about my flag pin—I want it to be more visible. I don’t want anyone calling my flag pin “trite” or “empty symbolism.”
Here are four pins that I found. Two are new, and two are “vintage.” One is small, and three are big (one is about three inches long). One is easily affordable, two are more expensive, and one is nearly $2000. See if you can guess which one I won’t be getting any time soon.