Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lemming Tracks: United States Flag Etiquette, Minnesota Style

"Guide to Flag Etiquette"
(www.sos.state.mn.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=4308)
The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie

"Displaying the American Flag

"It is the custom to display the flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open. For patriotic effect, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated...."

It's a pdf/Acrobat file. If you wanted to, you could print it on two sides, fold it in thirds - but viewing on your computer might save time: and would definitely save on ink and paper.

There's a bit about the Minnesota state flag, too, on what would be the back of the brochure.

The Lemming likes to read protocol guides like this. But then, the Lemming enjoyed reading the ingredients list of breakfast cereals while growing up. Your experience may vary.

The American Flag: It's Not Just For Crazies

The Lemming spent his teens in the '60s. 1960s, that is. It was an - interesting - period.

Take attitudes toward the American flag. Depending on which odd lot of lunatics one observed, the American flag was:
  1. A sacred emblem of all that was right
    • Motherhood
    • Apple pie
    • Hating rock music
  2. A loathsome emblem of all that was icky
    • Oppressors
      • Capitalist
      • Racist
      • Sexist
      • Whatever
    • Yankee imperialism
    • The military-industrial complex
That's not an exhaustive list - but the Lemming thinks you get the idea.

The Lemming doesn't think the American flag is something to worship - or burn. Although it seems that burning the flag is recommended by folks who don't hate America, and that's almost another topic. (April 30, 2009)

America: Land of the Free, Home of the Lemming

The Lemming also thinks that America is, on the whole, okay. Not perfect, by a long shot: but, in some ways, admirable. (Another War-on-Terror Blog, "United States of America: 232 Years in the Freedom Business" (July 3, 2008))

At this point the Lemming generally writes something about Frank Burns, the incompetent surgeon and nitwit patriot of M*A*S*H. Despite what some of the self-described best and brightest feel: Frank Burns is not, in the Lemming's experience, a typical American citizen. The Lemming doesn't even think Frank is typical of folks who vote with their feet - and either stay in America, or move here.

Some of the lot who aren't too pleased to see new folks doing just what their grandparents or great-grandparents did - - -. Yet another topic. Cryptic, but the Lemming's in a hurry to finish this post.

The Lemming has, occasionally, displayed the American flag - following conventional flag etiquette. More or less. The Lemming doesn't do 'conventional' all that well. Not because the Lemming hates rock music, and thinks that everybody should be free to believe exactly the same way that the music-hater does. Certainly not the conventional 'unconventionality:' wearing miniskirts to upset daddy - or, in the Lemming's case, long hair. Also sideburns and a pocket protector. As for being conventionally 'conventional?' Back in the Lemming's 'good old days,' that'd have been hating rock music and thinking everybody should be free to believe exactly what the music-hater feels. [Everything after the strikeout in this paragraph results from a desperate Lemming trying to reconstruct a set of association. (February 7, 2011)]

For starters, the flag is a colorful item: and the Lemming likes colors.

Another, more important, reason is that the Lemming likes living in a country that allows red-white-and-blue-blooded Americans to spout off about how everybody should be like them - and allows holdouts from the '60s to shriek about how everybody should be like them.

It's called 'freedom of expression,' and the Lemming thinks it's valuable. Sometimes the nuts complaining about the status quo - are right. And, sometimes they're not the ones who are crazy.

And that's definitely another topic.

Almost-related posts:

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Wait... Is that 'not because' referring to the not doing conventional or hanging the flag? "The Lemming has, occasionally, displayed the American flag - following conventional flag etiquette. More or less. The Lemming doesn't do 'conventional' all that well. Not because the Lemming hates rock music, and thinks that everybody should be free to believe exactly the same way that the music-hater does."

The Friendly (and confused) Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

You're confused? I'm trying to recall what I had in (mind?).

Which reminds me of the joke:

'Why would they hang that in a respectable gallery?!'

'Perhaps, sir, because they could not find the artist.'

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