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Respect: the Act of Consideration or Thoughtfulness

Respect: the act of consideration or thoughtfulness. Showing respect for the U.S. flag is nothing more than stopping to consider the relevance of this symbol of liberty. The derivation of the word respect literally means "look back at, regard, consider."

Section 8(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

To consider what the flag represents is easy because our history books are filled with entries of the heroic deeds of men and women standing in the way of tyranny. Standing up for what is right, sometimes in the face of terrible odds. » Blog Archive » “I was there… at Kooyong!”

WritingonUSflagAndy’s fans had a great 2007, traveling all over the world to see Andy play. Andy’s 2008 season kicked off at the Kooyong Classic, and that will also mark the first of our fan reports for 2008.Madi and Amy went to see Andy at Kooyong and shared their experience with“Kooyong began on Wednesday and we went, all kitted up in our American outfits (Ed’s note – every year, Madi and Amy go to Kooyong wearing dresses made out of the American flag). We’d decided this was the final year we were going to dress up in the outfits. (bold is mine)

Our freedom guarantees us the right to respect or disrespect—the choice is ours. Because of our freedom, we have the right to disrespect everything that represents this country and the liberties we have. Respect is merely the act of looking back at the price paid for the freedoms we have, giving us the right to show disrespect.  Respect should be easy, but it’s not.

Why is respect so hard? Let’s think about it.

  • Respect is hard because people don’t want to think about sacrifice.
  • Respect is hard because people don’t want to think about reverence.
  • Respect is hard because it requires reflection.
  • Respect is hard because it requires us to consider others, rather than ourselves.
  • Respect is hard because it requires reflections on the past and the price that was paid.
  • Respect is hard because it requires unselfishness.
  • Respect is hard because doing the right thing is never easy.
  • Why do you think respect is so hard a concept to grasp? Let me know in the comments. 


The accompanying photograph was taken in Australia and the girl is probably Australian, too. This in no way reflects on Andy Roddick or his respect for the American flag.
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News for Today—June 29, 2007

An interesting mix of stories today, starting with two Scout articles, followed by a military article, and finishing with a city government story.

Scouting teaches respect and more for the American flag, and these two boys are living proof. A short phrase in the article, “for the past three years” is the best part for me. This wasn’t something the Scouts took on short-term, but seriously took as their mission. Great lesson in Scouting!

Patriotic scouts fold their last flag at Palisades Elementary
scouts-care-for-flags.jpgIn his first year of cub scouting, Michael Easley learned what the colors and symbols on the American flag meant and how to respectfully fold it.

He passed the lesson on to his best friend, Tom Viggiano. Soon, it turned into something they both took to heart.

When they learned there was no routine in bringing in the flags each day at Palisades Elementary School, they asked former Principal Liz Wassom if they could do it.

“Its not just about taking down the flag,” Easley explained. “It’s respecting all of the people who had died for our country and everyone who lives in the United States.”

Scouting can have its fun side too. After carrying the U.S. Flag for the parade, several Scouts scurried back down the parade route to collect candy thrown during the celebration.
scouts-on-parade.jpg“It’s the first time I’ve ever been in a parade,” said Ryan Owens, 10, of Clive. “We were the ones who got to carry the American flag and the Boy Scouts flag.”

Ryan said he ran back to the middle of the parade with Nick Behrends, 10, so they could get candy, which was thrown in abundance.

“I don’t have a bag to hold the candy, but I got lots of pockets,” said Ryan, as the seams on his uniform strained from too much candy in his pockets. “We took a shortcut from the pool so we could get lots of candy.”

American flags are expected on military bases, but huge 30′ X 42′ flags are a rarity. If you are in the Fort Monroe area in a few weeks, this should be a great time. Stop by, then send us a report.

Fort Monroe to hoist huge flag
dailypress-huge-flag.jpgFORT MONROE — Fort Monroe has planned a July 9 dedication ceremony for 30×42-foot American flag that will be raised atop a 90-foot pole.

The ceremony will be open to the public with no admission charge. Identification and vehicle registration will be required to enter the military post, and a free shuttle will run from the parking area to the ceremony site. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

The flag will be raised across the channel at Fort Wool.

Good intentions with poor implementation sometimes results in a favorable action. What started as a clandestine operation is now an official city operation, with American flags lining Congers Road. It does add a certain something to the drive.

The story started a few weeks ago with this article on the city removing the flags because no one claimed them. The original city story said the flags violated a city sign ordinance, but now the city says they were removed for safety reasons. No matter, the U.S. flags are flying high in Clarkstown again, and at city expense.

Permanent display solves safety issue of Clarkstown flags
us-flags-line-road.jpgDiane Orativia noticed something different this week as she drove along Congers Road.

“Oh, I thought it was wonderful,” she said. “They’re beautiful.”

As more and more residents have been noticing the flags along the Lake DeForest causeway, they have been reacting to town officials’ decision to put them up.

“It was a very good idea,” Orativia said. “It stands for our country, and it’s a salute to our servicemen.”

Clarkstown officials put the new flags on display in response to an outcry from local residents when officials removed dozens of flags that were hung by a local resident.

Residents said town officials were being unpatriotic, but officials said the flags were removed for safety reasons and to avoid disrespect to the flag.

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Flag Code Violations Abound!

Flag JerseysFlag Napkins

The current U.S. Flag Code was codified in 1959 with only a couple of updates since then, so with few exceptions, it is still intact. The final version took from many historical documents, bringing them together into one code, signed by President Dwight D Eisenhower on January 3, 1959. This Executive order also included the order to add the fiftieth star for Hawaii on the following Fourth of July, 1960.

Much of the flag code is violated every day, even by those that are supposed to uphold the standard, the U.S. Government.

Here is some text from the Flag Code, where I have highlighted a few phrases. As you read these examples, think about what you see on a daily basis.

Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8: Respect for flag
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
(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.

I’ll stop there, but there’s more. As you can see, many aspects of the flag code are violated every day, and I see no way to restore the genie to the bottle. The flag code only contains one defined call for punishment for a violation, located in Section 3:

… to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Flag ShortsHorizontal Flag

I know of no instance where this has been used to deter a lack of respect for the American flag. In fact, the courts have declared that first amendment rights include flag desecration.

Now to address the highlighted parts of the code above. Think with me about the following: flags are displayed horizontally at many big football games, flags and their representatives regularly adorn running shorts and shirts, and flag napkins are available at any party shop, ready for the fourth of July. The U.S. Postal Service regularly issues stamps with American flags, ready for temporary use, then disposal into the nearest trash receptacle once the letter or bill is delivered.

If we strictly held to the principles of the U.S. Flag Code, many people would be fined daily, but maybe we must also practice tolerance while educating the masses. Most of those who violate the flag code are celebrating the flag, not intentionally disrespecting the flag.

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Who’s Going to Tell Them Their Flag is Wrong?

I saw this story and had to pause. In this new day of flag flying patriotism, it’s hard to make an issue with someone wanting to display the American flag, but I wish they would show enough care and wisdom to want it displayed properly.

A giant American flag the size of a football field is nothing new, but I’ll take this opportunity to share a lesson from the U.S. Flag Code, as it speaks to this display. – U of U Football Stadium Gets New Look

Horizontal Flag(KSL News) The football field at Rice-Eccles Stadium got a patriotic new look today.

The football stadium was host to a giant American flag that goes from goal line to goal line and is 50 yards wide.

Section 8 of the U.S. Flag Code is titled Respect for Flag. Section 8(c) states

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

Out of respect for the American flag, we are never to carry it flat or horizontally, period. It is clear from this text—this particular flag display will always be in direct violation of the Flag Code.

It’s a shame that in trying to show their pride in the U.S. (without verifying the proper display and respect for the flag) they disrespected the VERY symbol of our country they decided to use.

What’s next? The Bald Eagle?