A couple of weeks ago I published a post called "Tattered And Neglected."
In the post I mentioned that I had been passing a business and noticed that the American flag they had displayed in front of their business was torn. I went on to say that I had telephoned them to notify them about the flag being torn.
Well, true to his word, the business manager took the flag down that very day. Now, as they wait for a replacement, the flag pole stands empty.
In the days that followed, I found myself noticing that there were a number of flags being displayed by other businesses that were also ripped or otherwise unfit to be displayed. So, I telephoned those businesses as well.
For the most part the businesses that I called were unaware of the conditions of their flags and, happily most of the flags have both been removed and replaced, or their flagpoles have been left empty waiting for replacements. Of the 11 businesses I contacted there are 4 businesses still displaying flags that are not in proper condition to be displayed.
The one that bothers me the most however, is the one that is near to the KSBY television studio on Calle Johnson overlooking the freeway. The reason that one bothers me most is that it belongs to the American Legion, Post 66.
When I called KSBY to mention the condition of the Flag, the receptionist who answered the call told me that they were aware of its condition and that they had been trying to contact the American Legion to have someone come out and correct the problem. But, they had been unable to actually speak to anyone there. They kept getting the answering machine.
When I tried calling the telephone number listed for the American Legion I didn’t get an answer either. What I did get was the high pitched squeal of a fax machine.
Now, I realize that everyone is struggling with their budgets – after all who better than a homeless person knows what it’s like to have little or no available funds, but you would think that the American Legion could, at the very least, be able to seek out donations to have that flag replaced. I’m sure that some patriotic citizen or some local area business owner would more than happily help them replace the flag.
With the 4th of July just around the corner, you would think that anyone who intends to display an American flag would make absolutely certain that their flag was in as good a condition to be proudly flown.
It may seem like a small thing to many, but to this homeless person, the American flag is a symbol of everything that is good and honorable about this nation. Sure we have our share of problems. Sure we have our share of social issues that need correcting. And, yes, we still have a long way to go before we live up to the ideals set forth in both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. But, we have to start somewhere.
To this homeless person, it seems that if we can’t show even the simplest respect for our Nations’ flag, how do we expect to show respect to its citizens – regardless of their socio-economic status?
P.S.- if anyone out there knows someone over at the American Legion, would you be so kind as to mention the condition of their flag? They’re not taking my calls.