It’s the very symbol of patriotism: Old Glory, as William Driver, an early nineteenth-century American sea captain, nicknamed the American flag. But even as we close in on Independence Day, more and more across the country are regarding it as a “threat” and “inappropriate home garnishing.”
It made me sick this week to see another defacing of the American Flag by someone in the Phoenix area.
The large American flag mural was painted on a homeowner’s roadside wall the day after 9/11 eighteen years ago. The former homeowner Laura Giacoppo painted it with her son Brian and friend Patti, explaining, “It was just a thing that we did to honor all the people who died,” the Blaze reported.
Desecration hit the mural this past Tuesday, as Fox News further reported, when someone “discovered the long-standing mural defaced. Profanities were written across the flag, with black spray paint aimed at President Donald Trump and U.S immigration and customs.”
Mimi Hanna, who now owns the property, told KSAZ-TVshe felt “violated” when she heard then saw the defamatory phrases on the flag, “F*** Trump!!! F*** ICE!!”
David Bishop, who is a Vietnam Conflict veteran that has lived in the neighborhood for years, spoke for most of us patriots when he said the defacement was a slap in the face that disgusted him.
Bishop shared, “I put my life on the line for that flag. … You have to have respect for it. It’s this country. It’s what we all live for. It’s freedom, and deface the flag, you are disgracing freedom.”
Bishop added, “It really makes me feel sad that someone would do that.”
That anti-patriotic vandalism brought me back to an incident several years ago in my home state of Texas, where a Houston landlord told a patriotic tenant that the American flag was “a threat to his Muslim community” and ordered him to remove it from his home, according to KHOU 11 News in Houston.
The great news is, by Thursday in Phoenix, neighbors shared that they saw two of America’s finest law enforcement, later identified as Sgt. Matt Morgan and Mario Lozoya, fix the flag by repainting Old Glory on the mural (photo below). Let’s hear it for the patriotic police who engage in random acts of kindness every day all across our country!
Am I missing something? Do you remember the days when Americans not only used to be proud to fly Old Glory but frowned upon neighbors who did not, especially around patriotic American holidays?
These flag-flying travesties wouldn’t be so tragic if they weren’t becoming so prevalent and symptomatic of an America gone awry from its founders’ original mission and intent.
So, for this July 4th, I say we not only fly Old Glory proud and high but also remind our families, friends, coworkers and neighbors exactly why we do.
President Theodore Roosevelt said in 1907 when speaking to immigrants, “There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag.” (The Minnesota city council might want to think about Roosevelt’s words as they voted this past week to nix the Pledge of Allegiance in their official meetings!)
I agree wholeheartedly with U.S. Army Specialist Jen Elliot, an injured veteran from the war in Afghanistan who was told in 2013 she couldn’t fly an American flag at her apartment in Sacramento, California. She retorted, “We live in America. Why shouldn’t we fly our flag proudly?”
And what about those who oppose Old Glory’s posting?
Take your orders and never forget the words of General Douglas MacArthur: “I see that the old flagpole still stands. Have our troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down.”
And don’t hesitate for a single moment on this Independence Day to stand before Old Glory, place your hand over your heart and say loud and proud for all to hear: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”