Flag day

There’s more to displaying the flag than just putting up a flag. That point was brought home to me today while driving back from Worthington.

The community of Belle Plaine had the right idea in honoring returning American troops.

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This tribute along Route 169 was punctuated with an array of American flags on utility polls. At one time, it must’ve been quite impressive. But it’s a fine line between using the flag as a sign of patriotism, and desecrating it via neglect.

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What’s involved in putting up a flag? Taking it down.

According to the flag code:


The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” We recommend that you contact your local VFW Chapter and ask them for help properly disposing of your flag.

Given how many cars use the highway each day, it’s hard to imagine the conditions of the flags have gone unnoticed. They’re sending a very different message now from the one obviously originally intended.

  • Bob Moffitt

    I always practice proper etiquette when I fly the colors at home. I’m proud of our flag.

    However, I contend that my brothers and sisters in arms can be better “honored” by bringing them home as soon as possible.

    Which is more patriotic? Belle Plaine’s billboard or a protest rally against the war in Iraq?

    I like to think that patriotism isn’t just “flags and eagles,” and the other symbols of our nation — it’s a deeper understanding and loyalty to the principles the country was founded on.