In May, when I was confused about what month it was, I started going through my archives for flag photos. There were plenty of beautiful, uplifting pictures of backlit American flags that made your spirits soar.
Then, I started running across flags that looked like this one flying in the Old Salem Cemetery near Millersville.
I let a month go by
By the time June came along, I felt like I had been thrust back in the late ’60s, except with a pandemic mixed in. On top of that, the economy was taking a nosedive.
Sears was still open on February 12, 2019, but you could have fired a cannon down the aisles and not come close to hitting anyone. The tattered flag flying somewhere between half mast and full mast captured the feel of the place. It has since closed.
Storm clouds gather
I was excited when gas prices at this Jackson station hit $2.10 – I think they might have gone below $1.50 for awhile – but storm clouds were gathering.
The Occupy Wallstreet movement died out because of a lack of focus, leadership and widespread acceptance. Tactical blunders played a part, too: you don’t launch sit-ins with winter coming on.
The protests that are hitting the street today have legs – literally and figuratively. The Black Lives Matter slogan has been adopted by blacks, white, young and old. It’s about more than race. It’s a general dissatisfaction with government.
The marches aren’t just in big cities, they are taking place right here in Southeast Missouri, an area not known for political activism.
I can live with this flag in this context
I’m not a fan of the Confederate flag, but I don’t have any problem with it flying over the Confederate Memorial Cemetery in Bloomfield. I take every visitor there when they come to Cape.
I DO wish someone had fixed the American flag so it didn’t look like the international signal for distress.
Both flags were in bad shape my first visit
The memorial contains tombstones representing all of the Stoddard county Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. It’s a sobering display, particularly when you read the last words of Private Ladd, who was chosen at random to die to revenge the death of some Union soldiers who were executed.
A tattered flag caught my eye
I’ve spent a lot of time admiring the flags on major holidays at North County Park. Each of the hundreds of flags represents a deceased veteran who served in a war era or in combat.
On one of my first visits, I was disappointed to see one of the flags was a bit yellow; it had a few holes, and the edge was fraying. Just then, a gentle breeze stirred the flag and I saw a square field of stars. This was a 48-star flag. Alaska gained statehood in 1959 and caused the rows of stars to be staggered. This flag could be as much as half a century old. I’d love to know the story behind it
I stopped being concerned about the condition of the cloth.
I don’t have any right to criticize other flags
Three or four years ago, if not longer, I decided to fly a lighted American flag in front of the house 24/7. I wanted to demonstrate that it was MY flag, too. You’re welcome to salute it, kneel in front of it, honk at it, or ignore it. I’ll be cranky if you try to burn it, but I’m kind of protective of all my things that way.
I told Road Warriorette Shari, who takes care of my gardening duties since I take a scorched earth approach to them, that the rose and other bushes in the planter beneath the flag needed to be trimmed back. She’s been social distancing in St. Louis, so they’ve grown tall enough that they sometimes snag the flag.
It’s happened enough that there’s a hole in the fabric. I’m afraid I’m going to have to retire it.
I hope we’ll be back to bright flags and blue skies before long
Unfortunately, I’m afraid we’re going to see more deaths from the COVID-19 virus, more economic woes, and more people taking to the street. Let’s hope my fears are groundless.
Here’s a collection of flag pictures from happier times.
- The tattered 48-star flag in 2010
- My first grade flag artwork. Like my Art 101 prof said, “It’s a good thing you are a photographer,” as he gave me a pity C.
- North County Park on Veterans Day 2011
- Flags coming down on July 5, 2011
- Flags dot the cemetery of what had once been known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum. Two men in it had served in the U.S. Colored Infantry in the Civil War.
- I like the first bumper sticker better
- When people said goodbye at Mother’s house, it was usually next to the flag
- Backlit flags are one of my signatures
- Veterans Day 2016 – one of the prettier days