I learned to respect the flag from my mother, and both of us get very upset when we see a worn and tattered automobile-mounted flag or such waving in the breeze.
But today I was reminded that sometimes that worn flag is the living history of a story, such as the flag from the World Trade Center that made a trip around the country after 9-11.
Cassandra wrote a lovely post about patriotism and the flag today. In the comments, JarHead Dad (who should be blogging!) had this to say about a flag his family loves:
...Good thing y'all don't swing by here and see the condition of Old Glory on our flagpole. She's torn, has three little round holes in her, and even a patch of red smeared on the upper side by the Stars.You too, JHD and family.
This lovely Flag was carried by Da Grunt throughout OIF2. The tear was from his pack getting hung in some rubble, the holes speak for themselves reminding us of the usefulness of SAPI [body armor] plates, and that red splotch is the Blood of a Brother that was winged beside him. She smells to High Heaven as well. He still doesn't know how that Flag made it home as the buddy pack where She was secured was ripped to shreds. She wasn't leaving his side I guess.
Have no fear though, this is the only day we fly Her so maybe we'll be forgiven. She is an ugly Flag, all beat up, faded, and such. I know of no other that I own that brings the feelings and emotions this one does! I am in the process of building a full size display for Her. Complete with photos of Brothers and Brothers Lost, engravings, medals, ribbons, etc. It's something I want him to have for a wall somewhere in his home someday. He presented that Flag to us but it no sooner belongs to us then the Man in the Moon. There are no power tools being used in this construction. Hand coping saw only. There will be no need for caulk or putty in the fittings of this display. It will take a large wall, a fine wall, with hangers mounted directly into studs for a secure foundation. The same foundation that She represents. Truly a labor of love.
You will also not see this Flag hung in distress. Ever! But I guess I could wrap myself in Her to accomodate our brethren on the Left that are constantly accusing us of blind patriotism. Shame they have no clue and cannot understand the sheer affinity of a Flag of this type. It is a shame to never believe in anything bigger than yourself and not have the courage to lay down your life for anything. So yeah, I will will fly this tattered symbol of out Nation's strength. Proudly with no apologies!
Happy 4th of July folks. May the Good Lord continue to take a liking to you!