Ms. Taylor Vecsey,
I am writing about the desecrated . A friend of mine brought it to my attention and I think this is despicable. This is not art, this is not a drawing made to look like a flag, this is not a fake flag. It is an American Flag!
I understand it is not against the law to burn or deface an American flag. While this is a U.S. federal law, there is no penalty for failure to comply with it. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that punitive enforcement would conflict with the First Amendment regarding the right to free speech. While I do not agree and have never agreed with this way of thinking it is the way things are (for now). I was taught by my father, who is a Korean War veteran, a great many things about life; what it is to be a man, where and when to take a stand. This is one of those times. It is wrong to deface the symbol of our country. I find it disturbing that we (most of us) get very upset when our flag is burned, thrown in the street or worse by protesters from other nations in other nations. Why than do we have this double standard when it is done here at home?
As WWII came to a close, Congress established a Flag Code (in 1942) which has been updated every so often, it is based on the American Legion’s standards of Flag Etiquette. It’s a code, not a punishable law, if it were there is no legal repercussion. Motivated violations of the Flag Code are upheld by the Supreme Court as being protected under the First Amendment.
§8. Respect for flag
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
a. The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
b. The flag should never touch anything beneath it.
c. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally. (In past years it has been show at ball games that very large flags are held horizontally on the field, most times by service men & women.)
d. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.
e. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
f. The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
g. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
h. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
i. The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.
j. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
k. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way.
Most if not all of these sections in the flag code have been violated at one time or another. This code is from 1942 and it all may be from days gone by but there has been a resurgence of patriotic pride in the last 10 – 15 years that we haven’t seen since WWII.
We have the means to make the people responsible for this to remove the flag and hand it over to someone to be destroyed in a dignified manner. I would gladly take charge of it and see to it. I would like to call for a boycott of this gallery and any who may rally around it by all of those people who find this display distasteful and wrong.
I am a past 1st Assistant Chief of the , the past Commander of The Son’s of Squadron 419, a member of other patriotic organizations and I have flown my countries flag with pride since I was a boy.
Anthony J. Ganga
I do not speak for the EH Fire Dept., the Son’s of the Legion or any other organization to which I belong. I also do not speak for anyone connected to these organizations, although I would like to believe I do.