July 17, 1918
Editor, The Coronado Strand, Dear Sir: —Coronado’s camp of the United Spanish War veterans has noted from time to time certain minor infractions of flag etiquette, which it believes the public would be glad to know about. When persons of known patriotism prove themselves amiss in the etiquette that is due the flag, there is, of course, no occasion for censure other than a mild remonstrance from the veterans to whom the flag has an especial significance because they have stood beside men who died for it.
At a recent patriotic rally here the flag was draped over a speaker’s table and used as a table-cloth, a pitcher of water being placed upon it. Certainly no one will say that any disrespect was intended but the veterans feel that nothing should be placed above the flag—excepting the Bible. The government has laws covering this point and we have found no specific ruling that permits of placing a bible above the flag, but the practice is general in lodges and seems to meet with no objection. The regulations for the holding of meetings by veterans require it. In the navy, the church flag, when used, goes above the ensign.
More than a few good patriots hoist flags over their homes or places of business and then appear to consider that their duty is done. There are some flags that have never been hauled down and that look as though they meant nothing to the owners. Some are almost blown to pieces and one is so far gone there is nothing to prove that it ever was a flag, but the owner would fight like a wildcat if anyone called him a German.
Uncle Sam says to burn up the old. One of the most patriotic and most respected citizens has a flag festooned over his front door. This is not a terrible offense but the government authorities are on record against the practice of sticking up the flag in fancy twists and bows. There are any number of good patriots who have little flags nailed to their front porches ever since last Fourth of July or the Fourth of July before that. Those flags look about the way the whole country would look if the Germans won out.
Bertram Holmes, Patriotic Instructor and Past Commander, Coronado Camp, No. 59, Dept, of Cal., U.S.W.V. U. S. Fliers Guard, Paris. -Coronado Eagle and Journal, 1918
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