Letter to the Editor

Flag issues and cherished rights

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

To the editor:

I share Daniel Wheeler's concern over disrespect of the U.S. flag. Too many instances of dishonoring the banner of our great nation occur daily.

Have you observed our flag still flying high after dusk without illumination? Flying in the rain? Flying while tattered and torn with colors faded? Some think it is patriotic to wear clothes, even underwear, created from images of our flag. What is one to think when one's neighbor sits down in his Stars and Stripes jeans? There is a flag flying at half-staff at the memorial to the unborn. I wonder, did President Bush authorize this flag display? Or is this an unauthorized use of our flag in protest to emphasize the deeply held beliefs of those who sponsored the memorial?

Do all these examples of daily disrespect for the proper use of the flag demean our freedom fighters in the military, our police and firefighters past and present? Or, rather, does it pay them the highest tribute because we are exercising our freedom to express our patriotism as we wish?

Mr. Wheeler, I believe they will still sing "God Bless America" now and every day in the future as long as our country strives to live up to its seemingly impossible promise to protect our cherished rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Let's put this distraction behind us.

ANDY LEIGHTON, Cape Girardeau