Happy Flag Day. "What the flag means to me" was the name of an essay for school children in Wisconsin in 1885. That was the beginning of a movement to declare a day for celebrating our national symbol of freedom, our American flag. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson declared it a national day of observance. Why was June 14 chosen? On June 14, 1777 Congress determined how the American flag would look, that's why.
We fly Old Glory everyday, out in front of our house. I've done it since 9/11/01, when our world changed. I have an American flag that was flown over an American military base in Afghanistan and it is folded and being kept for our son to have to remember our military response. A certificate commemorating it is signed by the military members who sent it to us. It is priceless.
Sometimes a little worse for the wear and tear, our flag has withstood much. It has even suffered the indignity of hateful sorts burning it in protest. Some of us have felt the impact of the flag being a site for sore eyes in a foreign land. The haters usually don't have much experience of world travel or they would appreciate what the American flag truly represents.
Lately I've pondered some of the differences of opinions about the freedoms afforded to Americans. Some declare with certainty that our freedoms, our 'rights', have diminished during this time in history. I don't fall victim to this line of thought. I think necessary steps have been taken while preserving our status as the most free of nations. I expect no less.
Yesterday I saw a reporter from a large liberal newspaper in the northeast discussing her thoughts on Gitmo and the recent ruling of the 4th Circuit Court on the scaling back of Executive decisions made concerning detainees. The one ruling on the person of suspicion being held in South Carolina was the topic briefly. This person, it was ruled, must be charged or released. I think this ruling will be overturned on appeal as the other two such rulings have been, but the 'reporter' didn't bother to include that line of thought in her answers to questions. She obviously is of the opinion that detaining enemies of our country, those who plot to kill us, is too extreme. I was struck by her lack of understanding of the dangers faced by our country. No, she hadn't even been to Gitmo yet she didn't hesitate to call for its closing and to criticize its operations. Nevermind that hundreds of news organizations from around the world that have gone there and determined it is run with decency and humanitarian standards. Nevermind that the International Red Cross visits regularly and determined it is operating properly for human rights.
This reporter was smug and snide in her remarks and did not present herself in a good light. The very American soldiers that she criticized, yes, the soldiers, not the Administration alone, that continue to serve and allow her the freedom to criticize them, don't have the luxury of sitting in an air conditioned tv studio and bloviating on how the country should be run.
Does she stop and show a little respect on Flag Day, I wonder?
I've pondered a contrast in generations of Hollywood elites recently. A father/daughter of Hollywood, Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie, are a case to study. The father totally gets the struggles facing our country and the dangers of the post 9/11 world. He supports the war on terror. He is not afraid to speak up.
The daughter, however, is of another way of thinking. She is of the opinion her freedoms outweigh the freedoms of others. She's special. She flies around the globe, buying children from different countries for her own little rainbow coalition to prove how wonderful she is, yet, when given a project like the Danny Pearl story, she shows her true colors. You may remember Pearl was beheaded at the hands of Islamofacists in Pakistan while researching the story of the Shoe Bomber for the Wall Street Journal. His wife, a beautiful French woman of mixed ethnic heritage, wrote a book about her husband and their life together as journalists out in the world. Jolie plays the wife, Mariana, and focuses on the love story aspect of their life together.
However, at the premiere, she demanded Fox News not be allowed to be in attendance and that the other journalists and entertainment writers sign contracts to only ask about the movie, not her personal life. Sign contracts. No said to the entertainment writer for the most watched cable news network. What's she afraid of? Her precious Brad Pitt was there as executive producer and didn't voice opposition to such tyranny. I understand the AP and others just took a pass. Good for them, for a change.
I would guess from such arrogant behavior, Jolie is a supporter of the Fairness Doctrine which would put an end to the freedom of talk radio. If the left can't get its way, well, they'll just shut it down. There's your freedom of speech at work.
I'm guessing there is no American flag raised at her house.