Monday, July 6, 2009

Our Flag Was Still There..a thief returns

I told you the other day how disheartened I was when someone stole our flag around 9:50 on the morning of July the 4th. Well this morning, Mark thought he heard a car out front around 6 am. When he went out to get the newspaper he found the flag on the ground by the mailbox. The flag is a little worse for the wear. It has a small tear and is soiled. The cap off the wooden pole was missing and the flag had been removed from the pole and clumsily reattached.

I imagine our flag has a story it could tell of how it spent the weekend. I like to think that it did talk to the vandals who snatched it. I like to think the colors reminded them of their more sober and productive selves. I'd like to believe the flag pricked the most active conscience in the group.

Perhaps the flag in their midst became a presence that haunted the conversations of the day, made them wonder where they could go, who they could be. Maybe they wondered where we got the flag, or why we would fly it. Did any of them wonder if they would always feel a little guilty whenever they saw the red white and blue in future days? I don't know. Was there someone in the mix that didn't really want to do the deed in the first place? The power of the pack is hard to withstand.

Disheartened as I was by the undoubtedly overgrown boys who stole our flag, the kids I met on 4th of July at the country arena lifted my heart right up. No flag stealing for those kids, it's theirs already and I think they know it. One girl sat by me for a while and told me about how much she loves summer vacation. Her family had moved away and while she loves visiting the area, she's in a better school now. Even eight year olds have to deal with bullies; she told me a few stories.

It's tiresome, dealing with petty interference, and big or small, we don't always know how to deal with troubles. Sometimes we're right on - our nation -and sometimes we miss the mark. I hope we can learn to be careful about what we disdain, what we disregard, what we abandon... what we change. There's no point shooting ourselves in the foot.

In case the vandals are wondering, I fly the flag on special holidays because it's our country's symbol of aiming high, as it says in the pledge, "with liberty and justice for all."

courtesy of

So the thieves relinquished our flag and by some hand it was returned. It's not as pristine, but I think it did a full day's work and like many citizens we rely on on holidays- public servants- those police and fireman the city workers who keep the infrastructure working, it worked a little overtime on the Fourth of July weekend. It might be time for us to buy a new flag, but of course, we'll go for the same colors.


1 comment:

Mark said...

"I hope we can learn to be careful about what we disdain, what we disregard, what we abandon... what we change."

Thanks for these gentle and potent words.
We don't need a new flag; just a taller flagpole, so we'll all reach a little farther, and see it a little further.