From the halls of history: By now you’ve likely heard about the lady in Texas whose personal property, the American Flag, was removed from her work area and laid on the floor. The objection to its presence in the office which is shared with other workers was from an offended immigrant co-worker. While the issue has been resolved, her flag back up and apologies from her employer have been given, the incident raises an opportunity to promote INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY!
Is the work place ‘sacred’ where you may display your personal property without objection? Was the 3’ x 5’ flag a bit much for the ‘office’?
What are the divisible issues here? Many people are so ignorant of the respect that is required for the flag -- completely unaware of the ‘law’ that regulates its display. Another issue is the Work place display. Compound layers of personal liberties.
At the heart of the issue is the disrespect shown the Flag by laying it on the floor. The United States code, Title 4, section 8[b] reads: “The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise."
[http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode04/usc_sec_04_00000008----000-.html] Back in the day the proper handling of the flag was taught in grade school. Do you remember being at the raising of the flag on the flag pole at school where the pledge of allegiance was recited? Did you assist your school’s custodian when he lowered the flag each afternoon? Were you not ever vigilant to never let the flag fall from your hands, or in anyway touch the ground? Have the parents and the schools not continued this exercise of appreciation in liberty by respect for Liberty’s symbol?
Of course, the other issue is personal statements and ideologies in the work place. Many companies, government agencies, employers require an employee area be void of any personal items including family pictures, knick-knacks, posters, banners, etc. It is a privilege to be gainfully employed; having the freedom to express yourself is really subject to the boss. Display of ‘Old Glory’ in your office falls under the ‘freedom to express yourself’ column. But individual liberty cuts both ways. The co-worker had a right to take offense, to voice dissent, to seek resolution. If she is the one who took the flag down and put it on the floor however she does not have the right or the liberty to show such disrespect to our Flag!
The story has it, Debbie McLucas, the employee whose flag was at issue, put her flag up in her office for the Memorial Day weekend. She has an incredible emotional attachment to the significance of our Flag. Her family has strong ties to the military, including a daughter currently serving in Iraq. Perhaps the folks who found Ms. McLucas’ display offensive fail to comprehend the sentiment the Flag holds for Americans. Ruth Apperson Rous wrote “I Am Flag”. The following is taken from her Patriotic writing:
Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow.
I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust for posterity.
If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified and destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators and despots.
Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.
While the work place may or may not be the place to have a flag so prominently displayed, Ms. McLucas was surely within her rights to stand up for the emblem of our country, our heritage of LIBERTY, our title deed of FREEDOM. She had an obligation to speak her mind as she found our Flag nullified, laying on the ground, an object of offense to a non citizen of the republic for which the Flag stands!
The blood and sorrow that has been given in solemn protection of our individual liberties and rights calls out to all of us to take a stand whenever symbols of our great REPUBLIC come under attack. Our allegiance to the Flag demands we honor it.
Ms. McLucas has honored what the Flag stands for by her actions. The display in the work place aside, what went right was permitting the flag to be displayed once again. THAT was a nice bit of news to read at a time when our INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES are being eroded so subtly many Americans are not even aware of it. Debbie McLucas is the ‘yellow rose’ of the ‘Lone Star’ state!