It didn't happen a moment too soon.
That was the thought in many people's minds yesterday after President Bush launched a ground battle against Iraqi forces in the Persian Gulf.
"Bush did the right thing," said a man selling flags at the intersection of Dorsey Road and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard who asked not to be identified. "Giving in to the Soviet proposal would have allowed him to save his army for a future war."
Jim Pindell of Annapolis, who stopped to look at state flags, said, "I think it should havehappened sooner. In August they should have gone and done what they are doing now."
Although many people had differing opinions on howto fight the battle, everyone at the flag stand supported the war.
"I would have kept on bombing and totally leveled them before we went in," said Mike Kilpatrick of Harmons, another customer.
His wife, Sandy, said, "I would make it a goal to wipe Saddam Hussein off the face of the earth. Because he'll just do it again."
Dewey Sayersof Ellicott City was at the flag stand buying pro-war bumper stickers and flags. "If President Bush had waited any longer, he would have run into the desert storms in March and it would have been too late,"he said.
Support for the war continues to run high. And flags arescarce.
"You can't get them," said the owner of the flag stand. He said flags he ordered in January are on back order and not due to arrive until as late as June.
"The last price I was quoted for one flag was $9.50," he said. "And I was selling them for $7. I guess I have to raise the price."
The same goes for Richard Kaoes, a flag salesman from Mount Airy who parked his truck on Route 175 in Odenton yesterday.
"Prices on flags have really gone up," he said. "Wholesale prices are what retail prices used to be."
He and his wife, Debbie, have been selling their wares at that spot since Wednesday. They're running out of flags.
"I think it (the war) will end quickly," Richard Kaoes said.
His wife, who also makes and sells yellow ribbons adorned with flags, said the war scares her.
"We have friends and relatives who could be drafted," she said. "The war is bad enough, and then we have to have these protesters over here making it worse."
"Nobody likes war," her husband said. "It's a fact of life."