Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Duluth Girl Paints Flag, Earns Wrath

11Alive news is reporting this morning that a Duluth girl, who painted an American flag in her cul-de-sac over this past Fourth of July hoiday, will travel to New York to talk on a morning news program about her ordeal after painting the flag.

From the AJC:
"Parents in her neighborhood had organized the painting as part of a Fourth of July celebration last year. It sparked controversy when some neighbors worried it was jingoistic, and others said it did not show proper respect for the flag.
After school Tuesday, Rachel explained that she and her dad had researched flag etiquette before the council meeting. They learned that an 81-year-old World War II veteran was right to demand the painting be removed because it violated rules protecting the dignity of the flag."

Duluth City Council members and City Administrator Phil McLemore had agreed to order the image removed because the Stars and Stripes "defaced public property and could set a legal precedent for street paintings of offensive symbols, such as swastikas."

First off, let me start by saying that I be NO ONE would challenge her right to burn a US flag in the middle of the cul-de-sac on the 4th of July.

But a heartfelt show of pride, love and admiration for her country gets blasted by citizens who feel the painting of the flag was a pro-Iraq-war (and pro-Iraqi-liberation and pro-US-success-in-Iraq) statement. To add insult to injury, a grumpy old war vet gets on her case for not showing the flag the proper respect.

The fact that this little girl (and father) put the effort into her expression to get the flag painted in proper proportion and colors (you know, 50 white stars on a blue field and 13 horozontal stripes - starting and ending with red) should have been proof enough of her respect for the flag. Instead the crumudgeon decided to put the little snot in her place.

While "Duluth resident Don Ogden, a prisoner in Germany after his bomber was shot down," may be technically correct about the flag not being properly exhibited, he muffled the spirit of a 14-year old citizen. I'd rather he educate her about how the 'should be respected' rather than teach her a civics lesson. How about a "Great job darlin'! That flag looks wonderful. If you want to learn more about the US flag, how about you go check out:"

I won't even get started on the local government on this issue. PHthththptptpt!