Saturday, June 14, 2008

For which it stands

Today I feel compelled to write about The Flag. It is, after all, Flag Day and me being a veteran who fought and some say died in a war sort of gives me the added push I need to get going, so let's go.

One thing about the US Flag that is a little disturbing is this. If you look at a picture of it––like the one included here––the only part that seems solid are the stars upon the field of blue. Otherwise, if you do not imagine that you have 7 red strips sewn equidistant on a white field or 6 white stripes sewn on a red field the whole flag will deconstruct before you eyes. In real life flag waving, this is not a problem and our flag snaps on it's pole, staff or jack with the best of them. I know one thing and that is from an early age I had a great sense of love and pride salted in my breast for the American Flag. How this came to be I can't say. My family was somewhat eccentric and we certainly did not go in for patriotic ceremony on any regular basis. Still from the time I entered real school I was quite content to spend my days staring out the classroom window at the flag. How did I learn? Well, strange as it may sound, I seemed to already know every thing they were teaching, so I just looked at the flag for two years my heart swelling with pride and happiness. Then came the dark days of 3rd grade and room 103 across the hall with no flag view! What to do? I took a reality check just to make certain there was nothing I needed to study or learn. (there was not)
Then I made a startling discovery. The school was a vast airship! It rose up each day and flew about the clouds and returned to earth around 2 o'clock. The very logistics of the machine kept me busy for the whole of third grade. The school was built like a big T with the cross bar having two stories and being the front while the single story primary wing was in the tail of the letter. Each class room there had a door leading to the main hallway and one to the outside.
The outside doors were painted different colors so that when the kids bailed out with their flying belts for recess in the clouds they could fly back to the correct cabin and not upset the ship's balance. #103 was orange. The next year I was back on the flag side again but now I had some stuff to learn and did not stare so much. I also joined the safety patrol and got to do some flag handling; raising, lowering and folding. The school stopped flying as well; budgetary matters I think. Anyway, I learned that you should take the flag dead serious at all times. For instance if a patrol let the smallest bit of flag matter touch the ground, the kid had to kiss each star while reciting the pledge of allegiance over and over while the rest of the crew stood at attention giving you the fish eye. (I heard it was much worse in the boy scouts)

Why did I love the flag so much? How come I just learned enough to be a soldier and never really grew up? Is it possible that with so many unfulfilled lives floating around in the post war baby boom period some of these poor lost souls were sucked into the over flow of mindless babies lying in hospital for many long days before they went home. Today a new babe goes to his or her mother's breast at birth and the bonded unit goes home pretty damn quick. Back in 46-47 babies lay around the nursery forever or at least enough time to present a target for a lost soul on the cruise. Who knows?

After all this weird conjecture, I'm still very proud of the flag, I do, however, have issues with the republic for which it stands and believe that it needs a very large adjustment. That's something you grown ups will have to handle. I seem to be stuck in a loop that covers the emotions an intellectual bounds from 6 to about 18 and then life makes little sense. How's about helping a vet out?

1 comment:

Ms. Moon said...

That was beautiful. You are a fine, fine writer.