To the editor:
On Memorial Day, while driving from Cannon Falls to Lake City to visit the grave of a soldier lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I drove through Red Wing past many homes, businesses, and establishments, many of which that were flying the American Flag improperly. According to etiquette, on Memorial Day the Flag is to be flown at half staff from dawn until noon, (to honor our nation's fallen heroes), and then raised briskly to full staff until sunset.
When I passed the Red Wing Armory and the Minnesota Correctional Facility right after (who were both flying the Flag incorrectly), I decided to write this letter.
It's bad enough when some folks who don't know any better, fly the flag improperly, (such as not having it illuminated between dusk and dawn), but when government entities fail to honor the flag and its traditions, I feel that we, as a nation, are losing sight of what it means to be "free Americans."
Couple that with those who blatantly disregard the tradition of standing during the national anthem (in order to promote their own agenda), thus disrupting what would otherwise be a moment of national togetherness, and you'll quickly understand why I feel this way. Their arrogant, divisive displays are not the correct way to bring attention to their cause.
Perhaps next time, these overpaid sports "heroes" could use some of their exorbitant salaries to call a press conference or rent billboards to address their issues instead of insulting those real heroes who have fought and died for their country, defending the freedoms we hold so dear, and they abuse.
As for those folks who fly the flag either with personal pride or to show their patriotism, please learn to fly it properly. And for those government organizations which fly it out of duty, do it properly, or don't do it at all.
James D. Rohloff
U.S. Navy, MNARNG (retired)