Tattered And Neglected

Posted: June 14, 2007 in Acceptance, Discrimination, Homelessness

There are several things that prompted me to write this post: first is the posting that I published yesterday morning, something that I saw yesterday afternoon and finally, something that I was reading yesterday evening.

I’ll admit that I’m more than willing to be a fool for our Country and give her the benefit of the doubt. No matter how bad things may get here from time to time, the United States is still the best place in the world to live – homeless or not.  

When I wrote "Raising The Standard" yesterday morning I mentioned that today was Flag Day. So the thought of the American Flag was fresh in my thoughts. As a result, throughout the day I found myself taking notice of every flag I saw – perhaps a little more than usual.

The way the law is written concerning the display of our nation’s flag, it is supposed to be taken down every evening at dusk. There are exceptions however.

The flag can remain flying at night provided that there is lighting specifically directed at it show that it is lit up through out the entire night.

Yesterday afternoon as I passed one business I noticed that their flag was one that remains flying 24 hours a day – and yes, it did have the proper lighting fixtures aimed in such a way so that the flag would be lit after dusk. But then I noticed that the flag was badly tattered. It made my heart sink to see our national emblem displayed in such an undignified manner.

I don’t believe that they were deliberately displaying a flag that was in such a condition. I simply don’t think that the business was aware of the condition of the flag – after all, it remains displayed all of the time and I imagine that they don’t take the time to look at the flag’s condition on a daily basis. So I don’t believe that it was deliberate.

I had just decided to go into the business and ask to see the manager so that I could let them know the about their flag and its condition but I didn’t. It isn’t that it wasn’t my place but the thought occurred to me that they might not take too kindly to having a homeless person walking into their establishment and making mention of the flag. I wouldn’t have been belligerent about it I just wanted to let them know that their flag wasn’t in the proper condition to be displayed. I may be homeless but, I am still a proud American.

I stopped for a few moments, then decided that the best course of action would be to telephone them a let them know about the flag. That way, I could just give them my name – not mentioning my homelessness – and make them aware of the situation. That seemed to me to be the best alternative to the situation.

Later in the evening as I was reading, I came across this quotation:

"We must build a new world, a far better world – one in which the eternal dignity of man is respected."

– President Harry Truman

Reading those words brought about a melancholy within me that lasted throughout the night and into this morning.

I realized that many people disregard my "eternal dignity" as a person – not because of any of my own merits or lack of merits, but simply because I’m homeless.

And it made me feel like that American Flag I say displayed yesterday afternoon – Tattered and Neglected.

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