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The American Flag: ‘A Threat’?

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This is by Chuck Norris in Town Hall.

Was this flag offensive when Francis Scott Key wrote “Oh say can you see?”

How about the immortal line from Barbara Fritchie which goes,

Shoot if you must this old gray head, But spare your country’s flag!”

The American Flag never has been,nor will it ever be offensive.

If you are offended by the American flag just pack up and return to whatever third world sewer you crawled out of.

 

photo credit fineartamerica.com

 

It’s the very symbol of patriotism — Old Glory, as William Driver, a 19th-century American sea captain, nicknamed it. But even as we close in on Independence Day, more and more people across the country are calling the American flag a threat and inappropriate home garnishing.

 

A week ago, the landlord of a Texas man called the American flag “a threat to the Muslim community” and ordered him to remove it from his home, according to KHOU-TV.

Duy Tran said the Stars and Stripes means a lot to him. Posting the flag was the least he could do, he said, especially in the light of his friends who died for this country.

Tran added: “What really stunned me is that she said it’s a threat towards the Muslim community. I mean, I’m not a threat to (anybody).”

When KHOU-TV tried to confront the manager about the statement, she answered no questions, and the crew was escorted from the premises by a security officer with a note that read: “While the Lodge on El Dorado admires our resident’s patriotism, we must enforce our property rules and guidelines. Such guidelines maintain the aesthetics of our apartment community and provide for the safety of all residents. The apartment community already proudly displays our country’s flag in a safe and appropriate manner at the entrances to our community.”

So even though Tran had hung his flag with proper etiquette from his balcony, it wasn’t “safe and appropriate”? Are we now going to tell Americans that only one flag is allowed per 1,000 residents?

Tran rightly rejected that assault on his liberty, freedom and patriotism by saying, “I’m gonna leave my flag there, as an American, until she shows me proof that I don’t have the right to leave my flag there.”

That situation reminded me of another one that happened just last summer.

KOVR-TV reported that former Army Spc. Jen Elliot, who was a heavy-wheeled vehicle operator and a .50-caliber gunner in Afghanistan before being blown into a wall there and receiving a traumatic brain injury, came home to her California apartment only to find an official violation on her door from property management stating that she could no longer fly her American flag from her balcony.

Elliot explained to KOVR-TV that she flew the Stars and Stripes because it reminded her of her Army unit overseas, which had incidentally lost six soldiers in the previous three months. She explained that she was particularly “upset and very offended” by the notice of violation because it demanded that she take down the flag for which she and her fellow comrades fought and still fight.

Elliot said she would move out before she would take down her American flag. She added: “It’s very important for me to have that up there. … I’m not taking that flag down.”

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?

These travesties regarding flag flying wouldn’t be so tragic if they weren’t becoming so prevalent and symptomatic of an America moving away from its original mission and Founding Fathers’ intent.

So for this July Fourth, I say we not only fly Old Glory proud and high but also remind our families, friends co-workers and neighbors exactly why we do.

I agree wholeheartedly with Elliot, who concluded: “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 from Gen. 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.”

Then don’t hesitate for a moment to place your hand over your heart and say loudly and proudly 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.”

 

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The Star Spangled Banner is Hard, Yo

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This is from the Political Outcast.

Our schools are just indoctrination centers.

Where political correctness is the order of the day.

I used to hate history the way it was being taught.

Then I met Mr.Ramage and he brought history to life.

He would dress up as historical figures.

With his help I understood historical figures were real people.

Sadly teachers like Mr.Ramage are very few in any.

This question was asked (and answered) recently by ABC News: “Why is the Star Spangled Banner so hard to sing?” I found the article to be interesting on its own, but also thought it identified common problems many moderns have with “old things” in general. With the current love affair modern man has with secularism (meaning, the present only, not noticeably concerned with either the past or the future), it is not too surprising to learn that many pop and rock singers find the National Anthem a difficult song to sing.

Most Americans don’t realize just how technical of a song the Star Spangled Banner really is. At most, they sing it once or twice a year and usually mumble the words. In fact, many don’t even know the words. Of those who do know the words, very few have even given them a moment’s thought.

Michael Dean, director of vocal studies at UCLA, has coached a number of singers of the Anthem, from all genres of music. He says, “Once they start looking at the words, the thing that strikes every person I’ve worked with on this, is how moving the text is. Even the most jaded singers, they usually just start weeping.”

History is indeed a powerful teacher, but when actual history is coupled with elegant art (music in this case), the message becomes unavoidable. Dean trains his singers by first helping them to understand the Anthem as a poem, and then as a song. The vocal demands are extremely technical, but once they become part of the presentation of the Anthem, it takes on a whole new life.

Sadly, few of us have been taught this way. Education in this country used to follow this pattern. One hundred years ago, nearly every American would have been able to tell you what the Star Spangled Banner is actually about, what the words are, who wrote it, why, where, what key it is to be sung in, and how many verses it had (four, in case you’re wondering); today, no American would have this information at the ready (including me). Why is this? Is it simply because “they don’t teach nothing in school these days,” or is it something else? If you really believe “they don’t teach nothing” in the public schools, you would be wrong. They do teach something—a lot of something. The main problem is that what they are teaching is not what young minds need in order to succeed in this world.

In much the same way as pop singers think they are qualified to sing the National Anthem, most of our high school and college graduates think they are prepared for the rigors of “real life.” And it’s usually not until they get out on their own that they realize they aren’t prepared. Just as their elementary math teacher moved them into multiplication before they fully understood addition and then into division before they could grasp the concepts of multiplying, so are we short-changing our children when we don’t teach them from general to specific, from foundation to application. The reason that the National Anthem is so moving as a poem is because it is recounting real events in a real time and place that had a real effect on our national story being told through the eyes of a real eyewitness.

As I said before, history is a powerful teacher, but only when it is allowed to tell its story and is not constrained by the dehumanizing methods of disinterested teachers demanding that students know the dates, locations, and names, rather than the times, places, and reasons of history. The facts of history are important—the story can’t be told without them—but when the facts begin to obscure the story, that is, when the present takes the precedence, the real emotional lesson and impact of the story is lost; it becomes nothing more than words to remember until immediately after the test.

History used to teach us, but now pop culture teaches us. We are not educating, we are indoctrinating. And as long as no one rocks the boat, the indoctrination seems to be working just fine. But even something as seemingly naïve and harmless as the Star Spangled Banner has the potential to rock the boat. We are the heirs of a fantastic historical story, but the question is: Is there anyone left who can sing it?

 

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