I am sure with a catchy title that suggests yet another American flag story, many of my readers will brush past today’s thoughts on the display of our flag. Instead of the usual drum beat and reverence normally reserved for this symbol of America, today I thought I would tackle the thought provoking consideration around the modification of the flag indicating some special interest, in particular the blue line modification to old glory that is becoming rather prevalent.
A Facebook friend of mine, who I have never actually met, but whose opinions I respect, suggested he did not appreciate the alteration of the American flag to accommodate the endless numbers of special interests in our Republic. He suggested that perhaps there should be a “brown line” flag for farmers and a “red line” flag for firemen among other possibilities and ended his observation with a comment suggesting these aberrations did not represent the flag he took an oath to defend, presumably, many years ago. (Actually there are a number of color aberrations currently in existence.) His concern is that such aberrations tend to divide our country. He may have a point, however so do the folks who do not take issue with the thin blue line modifications to our flag.
I am the son of a career military man. I am also an actual US Army combat veteran of the war in Vietnam, as opposed to say, Sen. Blumenthal who sincerely wishes at this point in his life he could say the same. I fly an American flag, over a blue line flag in front of my home and would never kneel when the colors are presented or the National Anthem is played. My mother was the product of the South Carolina agricultural industry, raised on cotton and tobacco farms. This being said, I see a tremendous distinction between the absolutely essential agricultural industry and the police profession. The entirely honorable farming industry does not take an oath requiring them to, if necessary, die for the citizenry they protect. The military and policing, and to some extent fire fighting are businesses that expose it’s ranks to the possibility of death in no uncertain terms. There is a war in America, with certain elements of our society placing a premium on the killing of police officers, a consideration which I sincerely believe entitles the police and those that support them to meld patriotism and pride in their often deadly occupation as depicted in a flag modified to reflect both passions.
If our experience in the RV park that we are currently staying in is any indication, an argument can certainly be made that policing is still a highly respected profession. I fly a simple blue line flag under the traditional American flag, and during a park wide social event yesterday, enjoyed numerous conversation with folks roaming past our RV. I noted that another (active) police officer a short distance from me was flying the blue line modified flag, and was enjoying similar, I am sure, conversations with park patrons as they moved about. Interestingly, while pursuing one of my passions at a food truck, a Nathan’s hotdog, two different people asked if I was the “trooper” with the Airstream and blue line flag, prompting yet additional social interaction with park patrons. Word travels fast in RV parks! I shamelessly promote the profession of policing and see the blue line aberrations as terrific catalysts for conversation about the business. In these circumstances, the flags tend to bring people together, rather than divide.
Finally, the folks who hate America and desecrate the flag in an effort to garner attention to some cause or perhaps as a way to simply infuriate the vast majority of Americans, are permitted, constitutionally, to do so. In most cases these people do not and will never understand the sacrifices that are made to guarantee their right to engage in this disgusting behavior. Is it really too much to ask that folks, who are simply trying to reflect both the pride in their profession and their love for America by combining the concepts in a blue line flag, be judged accordingly?
I think not. I am guessing my father would not have approved of this concept……but would give you hell if you challenged the motives behind it, especially in today’s America.