Since when is the flag a fashion accessory?

March 02, 2010

I am always proud to see the swell of patriotism surrounding the Olympic Games, but I saw a trend this year that took some of that pride from me. Our country's greatest, most visible and recognizable symbol has become a fashion accessory.

I was horrified to see three fans at a curling event, bare-chested, each with an individual U, S and A on their respective torsos wearing the flag as a cape. This alone is a violation of flag etiquette that states our flag should not be worn as an article of clothing, but worse, when not standing and cheering, they were sitting on it! This was not, I'm sorry to say, an isolated incident, but I will not go on and list every act I witnessed.

I would also like to mention that flag waving is a wonderful way to show support, but be mindful of what's happening between the waves. Our flag is not to touch the ground. I've seen fans with our flag grasped in one hand, held high by one end, then the arms drop and our flag drags.

Perhaps I'm just old fashioned, but I believe our flag is to be respected and revered, not treated like a piece of your wardrobe; our country's flag is not a cape, a shawl, or a lap blanket.

In closing I would like to say this is not directed to the athletes, who in an overwhelming moment of personal glory and pride, grab a flag and drape it around their shoulders. Though somewhat improper, that is understandable.

Rich Brady, Glen Burnie

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