Dad taught me well!As a teen, I gained possession of a 48 star American flag that was as big as a wall in my bedroom. I proudly put it up, saluted it and said the pledge every day for my dads sake. It stayed there until.....
My father, Master Chief Charles Abraham Blocker was a 30 year Navy man and lay minister. He finished his career as the highest ranking enlisted man. At age 17 he lied about his age in order to join his older brother Uncle Jimmy in 1942 and made the Navy his career.
I was always fascinated and proud of his chest of medals including the Navy Cross. After those 30 years of traveling the Seven Seas, WWII, Korea, and many other assignments he came home straight from Vietnam. I was 15 and spent the entire day in the front yard in order to be the first to welcome him home.
When he saw the flag covering my wall, he immediately stopped in his tracks. Without harsh words but rather with solemnity, he took it down with care. He carried this 12 foot flag reverently to the living room where we respectfully folded it. He then had mom find a clear wrapping for it and placed it on my dresser.
Looking back, I am sure that the 48 star flag meant much more to him than I will ever know. He had defended and saluted that flag during his prime.
I guess the fact that it was an out dated flag made me feel it was OK to make it a wall dressing. I was proud to own it and to look at it.
The lesson stuck with me.
This was the man who plucked me from a pitiful Japanese orphanage at age 5. He taught me the pledge, the Preamble, and sang patriotic songs with me as we polished his leather and brass from the beginning. His frog like bass was music to my ears. He taught me American pride and I was singing the anthem before I was speaking decent English!
He praised me when as a Cub Scout, I helped with the morning flag raising in elementary school. When we went to Jacksonville Naval Air Base for groceries or medical, mom would drop me off at his office just across the road from the runway where the Blue Angels performed touch and goes. I was raised to honor the flag and what it stands for.
I have always honored what the flag represents and will stand up for it ferociously.
God Bless American and it's symbol of freedom, unity, and bravery.
THE GUIDELINES WE ALL SHOULD KNOW AND SHARE WITH OUR CHILDREN, OUR GRANDCHILDREN, OUR UNKNOWING FRIENDS:
Thanks to Larry Faulkner for sending me this.
Here is the code for the United States Flag.
§ 8. Respect for Flag.
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, state flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
(a) The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above,
the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping in front of the platform, and for a decoration in general.
(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
The part of the code dealing with apparel speaks of the flag itself not being a part of any apparel and specifically states what the image should not be printed on.
- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962.