Dispatches from the Creation Wars

More Flag Silliness

Boltgirl has the scoop on another new controversy involving the flag, this time the words spoken when a flag is folded at some military funerals. The Air Force recently changed the ritual because the old text was explicitly religious. The ritual folding of the flag has 13 folds and there is a text that goes along with each fold. The 2nd fold represented “Symbol of our belief in the eternal life.” What of those who don’t believe in eternal life? Fold 4 included:

Represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for his divine guidance.

Really? I don’t and last I checked I was an American citizen. Number 6 just has trite nonsense:

Represents where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

No, it is with our heart that we pump blood to our brain; it is with our brain that we are able to pledge anything at all. And I certainly do not pledge allegiance to any “nation under God” because I don’t believe any such nation exists. Folds 11 and 12 are even worse:

11. In the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

12. In the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

And how about in the eyes of all the other citizens? I guess they don’t matter. There’s more at the link above.

Comments

  1. #1 Liz D.
    October 31, 2007

    To me, this seems like a tempest in a tea-pot that Fox News, etc., is using to pump up viewers.

    Fact: there is a specific procedure for folding the flag. This is taken from the American Legion website:

    http://www.legion.org/?section=our_flag&subsection=flag_folding&content=flag_procedures

    “Procedures for folding the Flag:

    There are no Flag Code provisions which require any method, however, the following is traditional

    The Independence Hall Association exists to “educate the public about the Revolutionary and Colonial eras of American history” also has an extensive section on proper flag display.

    writes

    http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/folds.htm

    “What follows is an unofficial, but popular script for folding the flag. It does not appear in the Flag Code and would appear to be in violation of military guidelines, in violation of the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause requires that expression not create the reasonable impression that the government is sponsoring, endorsing, or inhibiting religion generally, or favoring or disfavoring a particular religion.”

    I too received an e-mail earlier this year claiming that “they’re banning the flag-folding ceremony”. I am an atheist and a supporter of our great Constitution. The e-mail set off my “sounds bogus” sense, and as I always do, I check out the status of the claims with Barbara and David Mikkelson, who run the urban legend verification page, Snopes.com

    The Snopes.com article on the claim that each fold has specific meaning:

    http://www.snopes.com/military/flagfold.asp

    There is no basis to believe that the script sometimes recited at flag-folding ceremonies has an official endorsement from the United States of America. Indeed, there’s reason to believe that the script is a relatively recent addition, as there is not much mention of a “reading” being part of a flag-folding ceremony until the mid-1980s. Traditionally, the flag was folded silently, with great dignity.

    More here:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/julyweb-only/130-43.0.html

    And if you want to get all pumped up about the flag being badly used, I suggest you go visit The American Flag Wall of Shame

    http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/wallofshame.htm

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