Friday, July 4, 2008

Reflections on the American Flag - July 4, 2008

I just returned from a naturalization ceremony conducted by the Department of Homeland Security at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, FL. We took a friend there to be with her at her naturalization ceremony. Her husband could not because he is in the Merchant Marine and on a Navy ship in the Pacific.

At this first of two ceremonies scheduled in Tampa for today, July 4th, 709 men and women from 90 different countries took the oath to "support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic". One was from Iraq. It was a moving and patriotic ceremony. I sat behind a woman who became an American today who was born in China. I sat next to another woman who became an American from Brazil. There were hundreds and hundreds of flags at the ceremony.

I pass on this story because we still have those who do not believe in the American flag as a symbol of liberty and freedom. Some, especially in the media as so sadly reflected below, do not believe in displaying our flag, even today.

ABC News Bans Flag Lapel Pins

Yesterday [September 12, 2001], the brass at ABC News issued orders forbidding reporters to wear lapel pin American flags or other patriotic insignia. Their reasoning was that ABC should remain neutral about 'causes'.

"We cannot signal through outward symbols how we feel, even if the cause is justified," said ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider. "Overseas, it could be perceived that we're just mouthpieces for the U.S. government, and that can place our journalists in danger."

Watch your favorite local or national news program today, tomorrow or the day after. Look to see if the newsman or woman are wearing a flag pin. If not I ask that you call or e-mail the station and ask simply, "Why not?" See what you get for an answer.

The newest Americans I met today in Tampa certainly would not understand why any American would not wear or display our flag proudly.

We must never forget 9/11 and what our troops are doing today to keep us safe and protect our liberty. Always remember: "Freedom is not Free".

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