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Letter: We need to show more respect for the American Flag

In honor of Flag Day, which is Monday, we should take a closer look at the most recognizable symbol of our country, the American flag.

As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, I have great pride and admiration for the flag. I sincerely appreciate when others display and honor this symbol of freedom in a careful and considerate way. It promotes feelings of pride and patriotism and reminds us of our country’s triumphs.

However, it seems that some are taking advantage of this. I have noticed that, increasingly, businesses use the flag for their own commercial purposes and are often careless of its condition. Nowhere is this more obvious than a car dealership that ties a flag to every light pole on its lot.

This cheapens the flag. It deserves to be treated better than a sales prop. Not only that, when a flag is used in such a materialistic way, we see more of them on the ground, tattered and even in the garbage.

I challenge anyone reading this to ask a veteran how it makes them feel to see an American flag in that condition. That kind of treatment is a far cry from the majesty deserving a vibrant banner effortlessly flowing in the wind — a symbol worth saluting or pledging one’s allegiance toward.

I urge you to review the U.S. flag code to gain a better understanding of how to properly display the flag and know that whether the flag is flown above a skyscraper or on a stick in one’s hand at a parade, it should never touch the ground.

We can and should do better when it comes to how we treat this symbol of our nation.

Raymond Basham, D-Taylor, Wayne County commissioner