flags forever flying

   On the Fourth of July the real estate folks plant little flags at all of the houses . There is a paper attached , of course , with their name and business  . Every property  gets a little American flag .

   But now are the waning days of August . Most of the little real estators’  flags are still out there .

   Some of the neighbors have left their larger cotton flags out since Fourth of July , too .  Maybe the little plastic real estate advertisement flags have caused these people to forget flag protocol .  Wasn’t anybody a boy scout ?  A flag comes down at sunset , unless it is lit all night . Then , I guess it can fly nightly within the rules .

   What are people trying to prove by letting their stars and stripes hang there on the pole , day in and day out ?  I wonder . Maybe the flag hangers have forgotten to take them  down . Maybe Fourth of July came and went and the flag was forgotten , and every time the owner sees the flag still out he or she thinks : I’ll put it away tomorrow .

     I suppose a person might think himself or herself more patriotic by flying the flag every day and night . But letting a flag droop there by the front door on it’s wooden dowel , abandoned and ignored ——-  well , it doesn’t shout patriotism to me .  Maybe something more along the lines of neglect .  Sorry . I know you guys meant well .

   I’m not against flag waving . We have a flag that we display every national holiday . I feel bad if I forget to put it out . I like to see the houses on the street all flying the flag on those patriotic days . There seems to be an unspoken and unwritten  notice on those days that, hey ,  we  all share an identity , that we are all on the same team even if we’ve never met one  another , even if we root for different sports teams  or political candidates , even if we can’t stand the same music or the same foods . And then I like to see the flags  go . 

    One day after school several years ago two of my eighth grade students wanted to talk to me . They had a problem . I could see  anguish in their eyes . I braced myself for something serious .

  ” We have this flag and we have to get rid of it “.

” Throw it in the dumpster , ” I said .

” We have to either burn it or bury it ,” they told me . ” And we don’t have a place to burn it or bury it .”

” And that’s the problem , ” I said .

” That’s the problem .”

” I’ll take care of it for you , ” I assured them . They were relieved . They took deep breaths and let them out . They calmed down and their eighth grade eyes smiled .  They left my classroom   , having done their duty to dispose of a flag properly . It had been important to them .

  Don’t ask me if I burned it or buried it . I won’t say .

1 Comment

Filed under humor

One response to “flags forever flying

  1. I like the walking and the flag posts, for the movement of the posts, which parallels the discussion, the idea of a flag as a sign, a flag post, the walk also moving, of course, with the post, parallel to the discussion.

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