Look at the photo below:
What do you see besides new Coast Guard ensigns having what appears to be fun poses with their Commander-in-Chief upon the graduation of the 2015 class at the USCG Academy in New London, Conn. Well yes, there’s that. But what else?
Why no!! It can’t be!! OMG, IT IS!!!! If you look at the President’s left lapel, you will see, an American flag pin. (Well, I had to reduce the photo a bit, but trust me, go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/may-2015-photo-day and look for yourself.) Heavens to Betsy! What’s the world coming to?
I saw a discussion on a relative’s Facebook page lamenting that ABC News anchors and those from other networks don’t wear flag pins. People also complained it was just as that Obama guy who doesn’t wear an American flag pin. Well, what’s with his photo taken last week?
If you look through most photos of Obama on the White House Web site when he is wearing a coat, you will find he wears a flag lapel pin.
Looking through the various comments about ABC having some new order not to wear flag pins, I found that President Richard Nixon was the first president to wear a flag pin. The practice kind of waned until George W. Bush started wearing them again. Whether that is true I don’t know. I have read on snopes.com and numerous news stories that ABC had a policy saying on-air people shouldn’t wear symbols such as American flags in order to show impartiality. Apparently, this had been a policy for decades, not after 9/11 or recently, as some claim. Other networks reportedly have no such policy.
There were a couple of other comments on this particular Facebook post that I feel a need to address. First is that something is “happening to America.” Some say they want their “country back.” Another site said that Obama and network anchors not wearing flag pins were a “slap in the face to all veterans.” I remarked on this post that I am a veteran and it doesn’t bother me in the least.
Symbols, I said, are a sign of patriotism and should not be confused with actually “being a patriot.”
This Memorial Day is supposed to remember all those who died in service of their country. It isn’t a day to remember us of something that never existed. You want a real mess? How about the late 1960s and particular during the Vietnam War? And not only the war but its aftermath. I feel I must constantly remind people that when I served in the Navy, from 1974 to 1978, folks never came up and said to a military member: “Thank you for your service.” Some might say “F*** you very much.” I never had that happen. I did have people, mostly my age, who recoiled from you because you were in uniform or was sporting a military haircut. I’m not saying everyone was like that, thankfully.
I was lucky to find some wonderful civilian people, especially in Gulfport, Miss. and San Diego, when I served there in the 1970s. I still do find good people who sincerely appreciate our service. This Memorial Day I think of those people as well as those who sacrificed all for their country. It doesn’t matter whether you fly a flag, wear a flag lapel or have a flag decal or ribbon on your car. Those things don’t matter. It’s what’s in one’s heart. Like John Prine sings: