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Flying the Flag: a Piece of Cloth, an Emblem of Pride

July 04, 2002

Re "Flagging Attention to Etiquette," Opinion, June 30:

There is nothing sadder than an American flag that is faded, tattered and dirty. I've seen many flags flying on homes, cars, boats and government buildings that need to be retired. July 4 is a special and meaningful day this year. Sept. 11 will be in the hearts and minds of all Americans. Let's show our patriotism and fly Old Glory at its best.

The emblem of our country should look sharp and radiant at all times. Buy a new flag and fly it proudly. It truly is our "grand old flag."

God bless our flag and all the good things it stands for.

Rick Schreiner

Pasadena

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Thank you, Jack Miles, for your commentary on the etiquette of displaying the American flag. I am particularly offended by the doormats made as replicas of our proud symbol. Why would anyone place one of these at their door? It's like saying, "Welcome to my home, but before you enter, please wipe your feet on our country's flag."

Barbara Miller

La Habra

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Bemused, bewildered and occasionally annoyed, I have observed the American cult of the flag: One pledges allegiance to the flag, one sings a national anthem about the flag. And although there exists a de jure separation of church and state, there is no church without a flag. (In the religious sense, this, of course, is idolatry.) One would do well to recall that such cults tend to be more prevalent in totalitarian states.

Miles proposes flag etiquette. While I do not believe in killing anyone's sacred cows; I believe we would be better advised spending the amount of energy used on flags on the country, that is: Do not litter--soiled flags may be an affront; a soiled country destroys us in the end. Leave the SUVs at home--ride bikes, or the bus. Be good to the creatures that share the country with us, both in the wilds and at home. Be good to the people who share the country with us.

If Miles makes those issues a top priority, I might consider flagging flag etiquette. But I will never pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth. This is the Fourth of July, the birthday of a nation. Let's be good to it instead of pampering the flag.

Pauli Peter

Los Angeles

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When computer-generated child pornography is covered by the 1st Amendment and "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is not, one must wonder what America has to celebrate on the Fourth of July. We wave the flag and watch the fireworks while our liberty continues to be eroded by one voice.

Which of our cherished traditions is next for the gallows? Will the Declaration of Independence meet the ax for the words "endowed by their Creator"? Or will it be the U.S. Constitution for the phrase "in the year of our Lord"?

To allow a minority to rule over the majority is not democracy. It is tyranny and a disgrace to the millions who have bled and died for our freedoms.

Ema Sherman

Whittier

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A pledge for July 4: I pledge allegiance to the ideals of equal justice and freedom established by the United States, and I pledge to preserve, protect and defend its Constitution from all threats foreign and domestic-- regardless of fears and dangers--and I make this pledge in union with all who have fought to create and preserve these ideals, laws and freedoms.

Peter Cohen

Santa Barbara

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