Tattered flags demand respect as symbols of our nation

May 27, 2011

This is in response to "It's time to replace the tattered flags that fly on I-95 overpass" (Letters, May 19). This is a flag, that at least in my mind, represents our nation. When George M. Cohan penned the words to "It's a Grand Old Flag," his initial title for it was "It's a Grand Old Rag." It was only politically correct individuals who refused to publish it under its original name for fear that it would not sell. When our troops go off to war, their flags for company, division and nation may be pristine, but once battle took place beneath its emblem, the flag became worn, tattered, and earned ultimate respect. The flags hanging from the Brooklyn Bridge overpass now signify the wars that have taken place as these colors were flown. These flags demand responsibility, respect, admiration and even awe. We are not a pristine nation, and our symbols are not pristine. These flags show courage, sacrifice, pain and suffering along with the pride that they demonstrate toward our nation. The idea that they may be orange, purple and gray is sacrosanct for our country. Do you really wish to disrupt that emotion? Are you the person to recommend replacement of these symbols? If not, who is? Certainly not I.

Jacob R. Raitt


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