I was upstate for Halloween to help my folks give candy out to the kids that were trick or treating. There were many of them and we ran out of candy. Many kids in great costumes, there were gangsters with hippies, nerds with cavemen, a package of butter with and angel, and all were having fun gathering candy. There was toilet paper hanging from trees and some shaving cream sprayed on telephone poles. There were no smashed pumpkins, eggings of properties, or vandalism of any kind to be seen. My car was fine and the lack of destructive behavior on mischief night (up north, we call it cabbage night) set the stage for a fun filled day. And it was a wonderful day. The following day I headed south in the Blue Chariot to my home.
I made it to my quaint old town after several hours of driving. I ran into two of my neighbors at the store and they asked me “what happened to your flag?” I told them that I was on my way home and asked them what they meant. “It’s all ripped up!”, they said. When I got home I checked it out and it was really destroyed. The flag is a piece of cloth, but to me, and so many of us, the American Flag is a symbol that has earned respect and a place in our hearts. My flag was old and faded, it was getting time to replace her. I wondered what happened to my flag, did the wind go crazy and shred the old beauty? Or, did some hooligan who sees the flag as a piece of cloth think it would be OK to pull on it and deface it like it was any piece of cloth or rag? I’m a patient and tolerant man, but this crossed the line. It was so ripped up and wrapped around a plant, that it had to be done by a person, who doesn’t share the same feelings about the flag that so many of us do. I hope it was just a misguided indiscretion at the spur of the moment on mischief night. I hope the person who did this thinks about doing this and feels badly about his actions. More than that, I hope he finds the love and the respect for the American Flag, which it has earned.
I am so grateful for the American Flag and what it represents for me. When I was a teenager I became an Eagle Scout and was given an American Flag by Congress for the achievement. The flag that Congress gave me was flown over the Capitol building. I still have that flag and I am so delighted that my Congressional American Flag was not the flag hanging on my porch on mischief night. I don’t limit my feelings when it comes to the American Flag. Any American Flag has personal sentimental value, it deserves respect and care, it has a history and tradition which is part of our heritage, and it is a symbol of our great nation.
Next year on mischief night, I guess I should leave a pumpkin out for them to smash, and take my American Flag in for the night.
I bought a new American Flag at Amazon – You Should Too!
My new, beautiful American Flag.