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Letter: American flag should come down on rainy days

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One recent early rainy Saturday morning, my spouse Ann and I traveled to Costco in Mooresville to replenish her stock of hearing aid accessories. From the entrance to the Catawba Springs annex on Sulphur Springs Road to the parking lot of Costco, Ann and I counted 32 American flags flying in the rain.

Many of these were in people’s yards, flying from posts mounted on porches to giant poles driven or cemented into the ground. Two flew (amazingly) at two different fire stations we passed. Several flew in front of businesses, including a few giant Old Glories in Statesville, one too large for its pole, each waving wearily over large car lots, each flag soggy with rain.

We noted that the schools we’d passed had empty poles as the flags had been taken down and were probably stored safely inside the school office.

One business, a salvage yard, on N.C. Highway 16 sported an empty pole, as well.

This certainly isn’t the way I was taught as a Boy Scout to treat the American flag. We were taught that the flag comes down at sunset, only flown at night if lighted by a good light. We were also taught that the flag was never to be flown in bad weather. At St. Stephens Elementary School on Springs Road (where the Walmart grocery is now), I once had the pleasure of being in charge of the flag during sixth grade. I’ve left class a few times to take Old Glory down before a downpour or made the serious decision not to fly her that day because the sky looked menacing.

It was at a Boy Scout meeting at a fire station that I received my instructions about how to treat our flag. How to fold her, store her, and dispose of her. We learned her history and the history of our country and the blood and sacrifice that went into our country’s creation. I got my Fire Safety and Flag merit badges there. I was stunned that two fire stations flew our flag in the rain.

Flying a flag at one’s home today seems to be a political statement instead of an actual statement of patriotism. We all know what the Stars and Stripes means to our history. The sacrifice. But those who’d want to fight over standing for the national anthem would disrespect Old Glory either through ignorance or laziness.

I don’t fly a flag in my yard. Not because I’m a commie or a libtard, but because I know that I’d eventually disrespect her out of laziness or distraction. I’ve taught my children and grandchildren about Old Glory though, her history, and they salute her and place their hands over their hearts in a pledge to her, and they will be the first ones to point out a flag flying in the darkness of night, unlit and lonesome, wondering why anyone would treat her that way.

Robert Canipe


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