Kentucky's governor just ordered "flags at all state office buildings to half-staff" for today, tomorrow, Sunday and Monday (four more straight days for Old Glory at Half-Mast).
It is time for the American Flag to bow no more.
If you read this too hastily and errantly mis-read my love and devotion to the American Soldier, whose deaths we mourn all across this Great Nation, you will have sorely missed the heart and soul of my point in this blog.
My soldierly remains, should my life be taken from me in Afghanistan or Iraq today, will be shipped back home fully draped in the American Flag. That is how it is done and that is what every American Soldier expects. It is our legacy and a long-standing, deserving, rich, venerable tradition for saying farewell to a heroic fallen defender of this American People.
This blog is not about that sacred honor being challenged in any way. The flag draped coffin is the deepest and most correct honor that can be given one who died fighting under those colors far, far from home, where even today, just to see her flyingat full staff, half way around the world, can bring silent tears to the hardest of men.
This blog is about the abasing, demeaning, lowering, half-masting, half-staffing, constantly flying America's National Emblem in a continuous state of mourning here in Kentucky on my U.S.Army Federal Installation, and knowing that all across America all Army, Navy, USMC and US Air Force posts, bases and forts are doing the exact same thing by mandates of undesirable Federal policy; a 2007-imposed policy that needs to be changed by our elected officials.
I am asking my Congressman, Mr. Chet Edwards (D-TX) to fix this belittling trend.
On Tuesday the 27th of July, the US post flag, flying over the US Army Post of Fort Knox, Kentucky, will have been at half-mast for 19 of the past 30 days (30 days ago is when I decided to track the flags half-staffing, so my accurate numbers start from 28 June).
For a nation at War, and with Memorial Day protocol to guiide us with "flag down only briefly on the National Day of Mourning, then back up at noon to full staff to fly proudly until sunset!"), then why are the Stars and Stripes tethered continually here by federal law requiring a US Army Fort to lower our Post Flag at a local governor's orders to his own state buildings and Keep Them There ALL DAY LONG, day in and day out?
And for a stunning 19 of the past 30 days!
Here is what you read about the demeanor of the personnage of the US Flag, per the US Flag Code for insight:
"The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing"
Wikipedia notes that this "never dip" policy comes from the 1908 Summer Olympics in London where countries were asked to dip their flag to King Edward II, King of England. The American flag bearer did not dip the Stars and Stripes.
The Olympic Team captain, Martin Sheridan (5-time Olympic gold medalist and overall 9-Olympic medals!), is famously quoted as defending his flag bearer by saying "this flag dips to no earthly king!". Take a look at this 5x Olympic gold medal Champion as he is about to throw the discuss to win gold in the 1908 Olympics. Here is a man who knows and loves his flag and his country:
And why is it that US Policy allows the Star Spangled Banner to be permanently flown at half-staff at the following four locations in the United States: The Post Cemetery at Mackinac Island in Michigan, the Punchbowl in Honolulu, the Gettysburg National Cemetery, and Arlington National Cemetery on the banks of the Potomac across from Washington D.C.?
I don't like this "flag-dragging, flag-abasing" trend across this Land and I defiantly do not think it to be representative of our Soldiers or our great warrior sons and daughters. It is not in the blood of our military's selfless service mantra that any of our Soldiers or Servicemen and women would want or should expect the National Emblem to bow all day in mourning for their lives given in battle or time of war.
I join with our 5-time American Olympic gold medal champion in calling out to America and to all those who feel the US flag should not be bowed all-day at Half-Mast for anyone or anything. She shoots back up after a few moments of honor or mourning, and then always, always, always, she must go back up to the Heavens and fly free and long and unfettered.
Old Glory must once again, by the voice of her people, "Dip or Half-Mast or Half-Staff To No Earthly Anything"!
Congressman Edwards, as my congressman who represents the entire Fort Hood, Texas area, this one is a great one for you to champion for We the People.
Reference my earlier blog of 9 July at http://www.armystrongstories.com/blogger/andre-dean and read about the Saudi flag that never, ever dips for anyone or anything, even here in America at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City when all other flags, INCLUDING OLD GLORY, are bowed and half-staffed by order of the UN Secretary General.
NIne years at war and close to 5,600 of my brothers and sisters in uniform (with the American flag flying on the right shoulder of their Army Combat Uniform) now killed in the War on Terror....it is time to call for Old Glory to rise and stay at the top of her flag staff, for all the world to champion her marvelous light of freedom which we, the American Soldier, give to you with our blood, in every generation.
Can I get an "Amen"?