Monday, April 23, 2007

For those who actually know me, please do not flog or shoot me.

Let me start by saying how very sorry I am for all the people who lost their life in the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech last week. My heart and prayers truly go out to them and to their friends and families.

I met a young man this weekend (Nick) who just returned from Iraq and he too has the same feelings about the people and families that were affected by this tragedy. He then said something that struck a nerve in me and I just can't decide if I agree with him or not. "Why are we flying the nations flag at half-staff"? Flag etiquette states that our flag is to be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. Nick felt that by doing this for the massacre at Virginia Tech that it took away from what the half-staff is to truly represent. Although our president did order this flying of half-staff, I still wonder if he has forgotten the rules. This is not the 1st time that the flag has been flown at half-staff when it didn't meet the guidelines. This is just the 1st time that I heard the concerns from one of our nations active military. Maybe he was still raw from what he endured while in Iraq? I don't know but it did make me wonder. What are your feelings about this?

Half-Staff Dates and Flag Rules


Anonymous said...

Is this what you wanted me to comment on? I think it was very appropriate to fly the flags at half staff. One person's opinion doesn't mean JACK. Some rules are meant to be changed and this is one of them. Was he so anal retentive that he didn't realize this? Our county was founded on a document that left room for changes and hello...amendments!! That sort of backasswards comment would of flown all over me.

And another damn thing...half the officials, and so called "principal figures of the United States Government" run this country walking backwards while farting through their mouths. I think it's great that we fly the flag half mast when they die, but these were INNOCENT children and how the hell does he know that one day maybe they would of been one those United States Govt. officals.

What a schmuck! Pisses me off. How fucking indecent to take such a narrow minded approach on something like this.

And another thing, what kind of person memorizes the damn rules of when it's appropriate to hang the flag at half staff??

I'm going to sign off having said all this but it's this will probably stew with me and I may be back....

LeAnn (I can't remember my password to sign in) dammit.

Cake Lady said...

LeAnn - this is what I was interested to hear your opinion about. Since your brother is active military. Yes, he was a schmuck but I could almost understand why he didn't agree with it. He didn't memorize the rules of flag flying. I looked them up to verify what he said was true. I'm sorry that I got you all stirred up. It was just something that I never considered until he brought it up. I asked another active dury military person and his response was that he thought it was a great gesture but thought it should be flown at half-staff every time a soldier is killed in Iraq. I think Nick was still reliving some pretty raw memories from Iraq. He told me of a couple and they were pretty bad. I guess that is why I listened to what he said. Please don't let this get to you.

Jay said...

I think I agree in some ways - if you lower the flag on some occasions and not others, it makes you wonder how horrific a death has to be to "deserve it". If we don't lower the flag for the dead soldiers, or if it doesn't get lowered for all school shootings...are we saying that those things are not tragic? It's easy to say you can use good judgement, but there has to be a line, and when that line gets blurred, I can understand how it might be frustrating and even seem disrespectful.

Anonymous said...

My response was going to be (if my computer wasn't having "unexpected errors") this:

I guess it was the fact that he seemed to be insulted by the fact that the flag was lowered for these kids, because he's a soldier. Everyone who knows me, knows that I support the troops and the fact that all those men and women have crossed the ocean to protect our rights and defend our freedom, or whatever the hell it is they're doing over there ( I really don't know anymore). However, those men and women went over there to defend and protect and put themselves in harms way. The VT students were slaughtered by a crazed lunatic as they sat in class. His statement just seemed very flippant and insensitive. Would he of said that if one of those parent's who's child and been murdered was standing beside him. It was such a self rightous, narrow minded statement to make.


egan said...

Half mast seems appropriate given the severity of the tragedy. We did it after September 11th too and I didn't hear anyone complaining then.

BO Snagley said...

the only exception to the rule is by executive order. this is in writing somewhere.
technically for any reason the president deems fit he can order the flags flown at half mast.
it is susposed to represent a nation in mourning.

BO Snagley said...

I partially lied, or rather did nto have my facts straight.
here is a link